When you have a second child, it's natural to worry about your kids and their potential relationship. Will they end up BFFs, or have a serious sibling rivalry? There's no way to know for sure, because fortune telling isn't the most adequate of practices, but what does science say about how and when sibling bonds are forged? Turns out there are actually physical signs your children are bonding, like, right before your eyes, and it's pretty freaking amazing to witness. Trust me.
According to Jeffrey Kluger, author of The Sibling Effect: What the Bonds Among Brothers and Sisters Reveal about Us, sibling bonds are unique and special; different than any other relationship people can experience, As Kluger writes in Time, "From the time they are born, our brothers and sisters are our collaborators and co-conspirators, our role models and cautionary tales." As psychologist Laura Markham, PhD, writes for Psychology Today, that close relationship can often mean fighting. And although constant conflict and sibling rivalry can get on a parent's last nerve, arguments can actually be a sign that your kids are bonding with each other.
According to a review of over 30 studies published in the journal Psychological Bulletin, it is completely normal for older children to struggle with the transition of becoming a big brother or sister. The good news is, however, that they will eventually get past potty regressions and wanting to use a bottle or sleep in your bed. I promise. And the bond they form with their siblings will be with them for life.