Siblings fighting with each other may just be a normal part of childhood and growing up that everyone experiences, but sibling bullying can be just as distressing and traumatic as bullying by a schoolmate. Around 32% of children report having experienced at least some form of aggression from their brother or sister.

Sibling bullying is the most common form of family violence. Without parents intervening to stop the bullying, it can become seriously damaging for both bully and victim, and lead to behaviour problems, distress and mental health issues.

One In Three Involved In Sibling Bullying

While people may just think of it as a normal part of growing up, it can lead to both the victim and the bully growing up to experience low self-esteem, depression, anxiety and problems with forming relationships.

For parents, it can be difficult to know what to do as your instinct is to protect both the bully and the victim. But it is important that parents deal with any sibling rivalry or bullying quickly before it escalates.

Sibling bullying is more than just a usual family teasing. It can be incidents that happen several times a week, where the victims are subject to physical or verbal abuse or simply ignored by their sisters or brothers.

Monitoring Behavior In The Home

Children and teens involved in regular bullying, whether they are the victim or the bully, are up to three times more likely to develop a psychotic disorder in their later life.

If you are concerned about bullying behaviour taking place in the home, especially when you are not there, installing monitoring equipment in the home can help you keep an eye on vulnerable family members. The video can be streamed straight to your mobile device, so you can check in on your home and loved ones at all times.

Seeing what happens for yourself can help you get a good picture of the bullying, what triggers it and help you understand how best to tackle it.

Dealing With A Bullying Sibling

It’s important that when it comes to dealing with a family bully, you remain calm and avoid acting out of anger.

If one or more of your children are reacting to each other in an aggressive way such as pushing, name-calling and hitting, then you need to step in quickly. Make sure they understand that aggressive and unkind behaviour is not acceptable. Then give them a consequence for their bullying.

Encourage your child to take responsibility for their actions and recognize the impact it has on their siblings. Above all, every adult in the family should model appropriate and acceptable behaviour by acting positively and supportively towards one another.

A home should be a person’s sanctuary, where they feel safe and secure. Living with a bully, even a sibling, can have a huge impact on a person’s emotional wellbeing and life in general.

Tackling sibling bullying will not just create a more harmonious home life for everyone, but it will help to avoid the serious long-term consequences of bullying.

Written by Jackie Edwards