Our siblings are the people that we will have the longest relationships with in our lives. It is also one that can be filled with drama and jealousy but it doesn’t always have to be this way. From a biological point of view, it is seen as offspring that are fighting for a limited amount of resources and that it sets us up for a lifetime of patterns that can extend past the death of the parents with numerous cases of siblings falling out over estates and will disagreements. As parents we can help them get along and nip the rivalry with a variety of techniques that can be found from parenting books and online. I’ve noticed that one of my children has less of a tendency towards being jealous versus the other one who can get pretty jealous at times. This is something that we try to address and work towards channeling it towards something more positive. We can also advise our children the way Prophet Yaqub (Jacob) did when Yusuf (Joseph) told his father about his dream and Yaqub realized Yusuf will inherit the prophethood, he told him “O my son, do not relate your vision to your brothers or they will contrive against you a plan. Indeed Satan, to man, is a manifest enemy.” (12:5) So if one child is blessed with something, it is better that they don’t also rub it in their siblings faces to help minimize the rivalry. The ones less favored should also instead of complaining about the favoritism, can try to step back and try to see what qualities they can emulate, if any. Another lesson we can learn from the Prophet Yusuf is that no matter how bad siblings can act, we should always strive to forgive them and blame the Shaytan for their bad acts and unkind words. Fostering sibling ties now can help prevent them from cutting off ties as they get older. There are many ahadith that forbid cutting the ties of the womb, may Allah protect us from this major sin inshallah.

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