How many times has a parent had to separate a spat between two siblings for something as simple as one taking the toy from the other? This is a cycle that happens every day and goes back to the Bible with two infamous brothers, Cain and Abel. That tale ended in murder but depicts a tension that continues today. Brothers and sisters are constantly battling each other in many ways. Sometimes its a physical fight, like pulling hair, but can be psychological, like refusing to let the younger sister hang out with the older one and her friends. Many parents just roll their eyes and say its part of growing up and eventually stops. Sometimes this is true and the siblings grow up with a strong loving relationship. Other times, it has the opposite effect.
Sibling rivalry can have last repercussions, manifesting in anger and resentment to name a few. Studies have shown the rivalry is worse in children close in age (less than three years apart) and depends on the placement of the births and gender. Boys tend to be more physical, sparking fights and competing in sport events to see who is better. Sisters are verbal with their attacks and can be vicious at times. Older siblings have resentment towards the younger child, partly because they are charged by the parent to look after him/her at times. There is also the constant need for sole attention from the parent so each child acts out more to get the attention.
A good way to solve this is for the parents to set a certain amount of time aside for each child. Positive reinforcement is a huge help when dealing with brothers and sisters.