Sibling relationships

Rebecca Eberlin, PhD Psychologist and Family Coach, shares advice for parents on how to best turn rivalry between siblings into a strong friendship
Sibling Rivalry Tips | How Sibling Rivalry Can Benefit Your Kids
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Sibling relationships

Helping your child become better friends with their siblings can be a pretty tough job for a parent. Two words: Sibling rivalry. A lot of parents are scared of this, but I have to tell you, it's normal, it's developmentally appropriate, and actually pretty healthy for your children. It gives your child the opportunity to not only learn how to make friends with their brothers and sisters, but also developing a healthy competitiveness. Learning how to negotiate that relationship. Learning how to practice making friends in a really safe, secure place. The reason that is so great for children because it also gives them the opportunity to make mistakes with friends. The friend is their family member and is more likely to forgive that mistake than maybe if they made that mistake with a new friend at school. Helping your kids to make friends with each other offers them the opportunity to really strengthen their conflict resolution skills. We see children navigating conflict at home, being the children that can really navigate conflicts outside of the home. Hang in there, as a parent, and keep encouraging your children to be friends with each other. In fact, make in an expectation. Make it a family goal. Have your children speak kindly to their siblings. They will make mistakes. When we see children and have an expectation that they are going go make friends with their brother and sister, we really see them forming the bonds of friendship that can last a lifetime. There is nothing like having a brother or sister as an adult, that is truly your best friend.

Rebecca Eberlin, PhD Psychologist and Family Coach, shares advice for parents on how to best turn rivalry between siblings into a strong friendship


Expert Bio

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Rebecca Eberlin, PhD


I am a California state licensed psychologist, who specializes in providing evidence-based treatment and assessment to children, adults and families with a variety of emotional, behavioral and developmental challenges.

A proud Wolverine, I graduated from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor with Bachelor of Arts degrees in Psychology and Political Science. I then returned to California and completed my Doctoral training at Pacific Graduate School of Psychology, an APA accredited pre-doctoral internship at Sharp HealthCare, and a post-doctoral fellowship at the Children’s Health Council.

I relocated to Los Angeles in the summer of 2011 to conduct prevention-focused research at UCLA’s Semel Institute of Neuroscience and Human Behavior at the Global Center for Children and Families. During my time at UCLA, I became the lead psychologist and Director of Services and Operations at the UCLA Family Commons in Santa Monica.

Throughout the course of my career, my research and treatment interests have included working with children, adolescents and adults who struggle with behavioral and emotional challenges, such as depression, anxiety, impulse control disorders, developmental disabilities and other family-based issues. I also conduct parent education seminars that focus on a wide variety of issues including resiliency, stress, relationships, social media and friendship and bullying.

While my primary location is West Los Angeles, I also have offices in Northern California. If you are interested in obtaining coaching or cognitive testing services in the Bay Area, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Please please visit my website to learn more about me, my practice and how therapy can work for you.

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