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Sibling Bullying

MarlieeB

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Did/Do you ever get bullied by your siblings?

What effect did it have on you, do they still do it whether it is verbal or physical?

Do your parents know and if they do, do they just think of it as sibling teasing or do/did they stop it?


Sibling Bullying More Common Than Schoolyard Torment, Study Shows - NBC News

The biggest bullies might not be in the playground, but in the top bunk.

That's the takeaway from a new study that says sibling torment could be more common than aggression at school or in the neighborhood — and the perpetrators and victims don't even see it as bullying.

"Rivalry is one word that they used," said Lori Hoetger, one of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln researchers who authored the study published in the Journal of Family Violence.


Being bullied by a sibling may impact mental healthTODAY



Her team questioned nearly 400 undergraduates about their experiences as children, using a checklist of physical and verbal behaviors that fit an academic definition of bullying if they are repeated over time.

To their surprise, the students reported bullying dynamics with brothers or sisters more often than with other peers. And those who had been bullied by a sibling were less likely to report someone else being harassed to an authority figure.

"We think that's because people who are experiencing sibling bullying somehow normalize it," Hoetger said.

Katey Smith, a licensed clinical social worker with the non-profit Family Centers in Connecticut, which provides mental health and parenting services to families, said that too often parents downplay home-base bullying.

But her current client list includes a mom and dad who recognized their older son, a gifted 11-year-old athlete, was picking on his artsy younger brother.

"It's verbal but it can become physical when rough play and wrestling turns into something more extreme," Smith said. "It's mostly the older brother making fun of the little brother. It's all the time and it causes the little one quite a bit of stress because he looks up to his brother."

Smith is working with the parents on setting boundaries for the older boy and on coping mechanisms and emotional support for the younger one. It's crucial to break the cycle, she said, because bullying can have long-term effects.

A study last year by the University of New Hampshire found that the 32 percent of children who reported being victimized by a brother or sister suffered higher rates of mental-health distress. Researchers from Oxford University discovered children who were bullied by a sibling at age 12 were twice as likely to report depression or anxiety at age 18.

One criticism of the research comes from a surprising source. Ross Ellis, a real-estate agent who founded the non-profit advocacy group Stomp Out Bullying, said the friction is being overblown.

"This is sibling rivalry that started in ancient days and will continue in future days," she said. "Bullying is just the hot buzzword today."

But Dr. Gail Saltz, a New York psychiatrist who is a TODAY contributor, said that while old-fashioned rivalry may be the cause, there's no doubt it crosses the line in some households — and can spill over into the schoolyard.

"It's understood that kids who are bulliers at school are sometimes being bullied at home, often times by a sibling, though sometimes by a parent," she said. "And it has a sustained impact — depression, insecurity and loss of trust and intimacy in relationships."
 
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Taffy

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I don't have any contact with my immediate family, its a great relief to me, I can function now xxxxxxxx
 
SomersetScorpio

SomersetScorpio

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Also to anybody reading this thread and going through something like this..

Domestic abuse happens among family members too. It happens between children siblings and adult siblings.
You will not be turned away from domestic abuse services just because the perpetrator is not a romantic partner - they are there to help family members too.


It is really hard to find much help on this subject when it concerns children, but it's even less easy to find information and help when it comes to adults.
Perhaps one day i'll write a book or set up an organisation designed to help. Maybe.
 
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Laura1985

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Jun 21, 2015
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Yeah Ive been unfairly treated by my siblings my whole life. One of my earliest memories is my sisters naming a doll Laura (my name) and then calling it lots of names and saying horrible things. I was getting upset but then they said it wasnt me they were talking about it was the doll.
My oldest sister was the worse and my two other sisters joined in. And my mum shouted at me for being at the centre of the trouble all the time, when I was the one trying to defend myself.
Today I live with my brother and my parents. After having gone through a rough time with bfs being emotionally abusive and having to move back home. My brother has taken the role of abuser. When hes stressed he'll take it out on me and parents dont support me because they turn a blind eye. They think hes just being immature. But him and his gf often slag me off and make fun of me and laugh about me. He used to physically hit me when I was more reactive and he was more unhappy.
He trys to walk past me and push me and walk through me like Im not there.
It sound ridiculous I know, but having been through relationships whereby i was brainwashed into believing I was a horrible person who deserves to be treated badly by being pinned up to the wall and chased to be screamed at in my face and called fat and told not to eat certain foods (I ended up developing bulemia). After all that to be treated so hostile at my apparent family home is really upsetting
 

MarlieeB

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Sorry you are going through all of that Laura, in the past and present. Is there any local places that you could go to, to get out of there because you do really need to get out.

If you don't mind me asking, where do you live? You don't have to answer of course so please don't feel any pressure to :)

xxx
 
blueflames

blueflames

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Hhhmmm I wouldn't call it bullying but I have 3 siblings and the 'banter' was pretty brutal so you needed a thick skin and razor wit to survive it. I suppose someone more sensitive would have felt bullied :shrug: for me it was just life
 
SMM889

SMM889

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hmmmmm there was the nic name i have because i walk on my toes ...ballerina ............ some other nic names becasue my "dad" wasn't there "dad"(devil spawn they would say :/).the truth of that is both "dad's” left our mother for whatever reason.mine did drugs and is getting out of jail next year.. nothing physical other than my sister sitting on me until she got what she wanted , if i didn't do what she wanted she would break a toy of mine or a game. or my brother up's and down's from being happy to being rage filled. ..tho many things have changed over the years. my bro is clean now he has manic depression which he is getting treated for ..soooo yaaay i guess
 
L

Laura1985

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Blueflames I think it'd have been a lot easier if my sister hadnt had 5 kids in the space of 4 years (Im a twin) and that I had a dad who was there. He was always at work and didnt get involved with us kids so to speak. Only in holidays he'd take us for ice cream or something. So you could say my mum raised us single handedly, and I felt like as soon as I was able to walk I was just left to get on with it. My mum didnt like to intervene in arguments, so it was all about trying to stop sisters picking on you and being horrible. I never felt loved by my mother. I dont remember her hugging me or anything like that or saying positive things about me. She never wanted anything to do with me. So to say its just because Im sensitive is unfair.
My psychotherapist seemed to think I never had a bond with her from birth and so she could say horrible things to me when I used to be involved with family arguments, and for her not to feel like she had done anything wrong. She often threatened to pack her bags and leave if the arguing didnt stop.
So I had no support system growing up in the family home. It was only at school I got that. When I tried to stand up for myself I got my mum shouting at me, thinking I was causing trouble but all I wanted was a quiet life and a family that treated me fairly. Ive tried to talk to my mum about it but she just thinks Im immature and dismisses my feelings. She just disagrees with me on everything and it makes my trauma worse. I wished Id tried to run away or asked for my Grandma to look after me. But instead I hid for hours on end and cried. But they never noticed Id gone. My parents dont take any responsibility for their actions.
I just was told that I just play the victim, and I hate that. I've had a lot to deal with and had no stability set down by my family, who are supose to care for me and protect me. My three sisters treated each other with respect and I was just at the centre of their jokes all the time. And when I didnt like it ' I cant take a joke'. Well actually it just feels like you're being horrible to be and then making an excuse for it. They rarely joked at each others expense.
 
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janice6331

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For those people who have suffered emotional neglect as children and never really felt loved by their parents or siblings i would suggest that the best way forward is by acceptance.

What i mean by this is accepting that your parents are not good parents. Accepting that you had a rotten childhood ultimately because of them. They did not protect you and they certainly did not fulfill your needs.

Get yourself into a place where you can look after yourself. Have a job, an education, share a flat with someone. Save money up. Do as much as possible to cut ties with your so called family and be independent. Accept that you will probably be better off without them. Why should they reap the benefits of having you in their life now when they completely failed you as a child. They don't deserve you.

Accept that there will always be that void inside you that can't be filled because you missed out on vital nurturing. Accept that no matter what you do it is unlikely to be good enough for them to put their arms around and you and tell you they were wrong and they love you. Learn to be kind to yourself. Assert yourself. Observe other people and how they do it. Especially in the workplace. The stronger you become the more your family will regret how they treated.

If you see an injustice happening to a child or anyone. Do what you can. Speak up, even if you stand alone.

Sadly all this takes years.
Hugs to all.
 
G

Gredge23

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From a very young age was constantly "teased" by my older brother , he found great pleasure in my physical and emotional pain.

It would boil up to the point I would physically attack my brother back I knocked out his front teeth with a pool cue at age 8 he was 16 , I got beaten by both my parents for doing it severely , little did they know how much pain I was going through and who the cause of it all was , it only stopped when he moved out at age 21
 
Nikita

Nikita

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I had 26 years of abuse from my older sister, I wish I could have beat the shit out of her nasty,narcissistic ,parasite that she is /was.I have cut her out of my life now. Phewww!
 
blueflames

blueflames

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Hey Laura

I wasn't saying that the reason you felt bullied by your siblings was because YOU are sensitive. I was saying that someone of a more sensitive nature would have perhaps felt bullied in MY family. I wasn't drawing comparisons or implying anyone else's dysfunctional family dynamics were because of them.

I can relate to a lot of what you say about your parents and had a very similar upbringing. I also had a very turbulent relationship with my siblings - but no one person was singled out and continuously picked on tho! All the arguments and piss taking and boundaries that were crossed, was very much an equal thing amongst us all.

I have always had a strong bond with my siblings, and though I know we all have past issues and sometimes we are still known to cross lines :redface: We have also worked for years to build healthy and stable adult relationships.

When I read your posts I don't get the sense that the bond your siblings share, actually include you? I feel your situation is very different?! To single someone out in the way you are singled out IS bullying imo and so not what I was referring to. I am sorry if you took it that way:hug:

I really hope you manage to build a good relationship with your siblings, long term. For me, a good sibling relationship and strong family bond is very important. I love my siblings more than anything! they have and always will be my best friends and the people I am closest to.

Best wishes Laura :hug:


*disclaimer* I am sure this all sounds very well adjusted but make no mistake.. in reality there are times that we are still far from that!! As a person, I make constant mistakes and mess up my relationships...and none of my family have stopped the brutal bantering that we found so funny growing up=) I often wonder how healthy a psychologist would deem that to be?? lol *disclaimer*
 
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Laura1985

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Thanks for clearing that up blueflames. :) Its nice that you have a strong bond with your siblings. I wish Id had siblings who would fight my corner if I was having a tough time or talk to me when Iwas upset. I mean its good to have banter but when it destroys someones self esteem its not fair.
Ive never had a sibling fight my corner it must be nice when that happens. It was each for themselves in my family. My mother didnt help the matter. I didnt often have her attention. I just remember her taking herself off with the newspaper, her cigs and a glass of wine to get some peace and quiet when on holiday. But never being there for me emotionally
I cant remember a lot of my childhood and what I do remember arent very nice memories.
I probably shouldnt be too hard on my mum because my dads hit her before and I was there when he through clean ironing across the room when he was mad.
Hes a decent person most of the time, as is my mum. Its hard to grasp that your parents arent good because to most onlookers they would appear to be. They clothed us & fed us but for me its the emotional support I didnt receive. I find it difficult because my siblings turned out ok. Altho they didnt receive the emotional upset I did in my childhood- which also came from my mother. :'(
 
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Laura1985

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By the way Ive found this site so much more helpful than some therapy Ive had. So thanks to all concerned :) Theres a fair few.
Therapists to me often come across as fake and that they have to think so carefully about what they say to you that I feel undermined or like theyre tiptoeing around you as to not insult you or something?! It sometimes feels like a script or the techniques they can use can seem like youre part of their little play that youre a cog in their world of psychology that they find fascinating and theyre more interested for their own benefit rather than yours.
 
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