I've Created a Monster-Sibling Rivalry

***Anecdotes and advice from a Supermom of 12 children

Jealous feelings are normal

Sibling rivalry is in your home the minute you bring home your second child. It never goes away. Your children might be the best of friends, but some amount of jealous friction is bound to exist between them. It's important to remember that having jealous feelings is normal, a healthy state of being for your children.

Letting off steam

Many childcare experts advise that since jealous feelings are bound to occur, it's best for the feelings to come out as soon as you bring home your new baby from the hospital. If these feelings are not aired, it's a sign your child is repressing his natural feelings of envy. Repression tends to cause a build up of emotion that is rather like a pressure cooker getting ready to explode. It's far better for your child to let off steam, here and there, under your watchful care, before the situation is out of control and causes real harm.

Psychologist Dr. Vera Rabie-Azoory, author of the book, "Sibling Rivalry: The Truth About the Family Favorite," goes so far as to state that the only way to avoid sibling rivalry is to limit family size to one child per family. In an interesting interview, Dr. Rabie Azoory, when questioned as to whether or not it might be best to have only one child, answered, "Honestly, if parents want to have an easy -- it's really more from the parents' point of view. It makes a lot of sense in terms of peace of mind that parents will eventually ever have to have just one child."

Beautiful friendships

As the mother of 12 children, I think that the world would be in big trouble were individual families to take her advice. My children have come to find comfort in the company of each other as they grow older. I am glad they have each other; their friendships are beautiful to witness.

Even my smaller children tend to create intimate circles of two. My 7 and 9 year old are the dearest of friends, even as they fight to cuddle next to me in my bed. The loser gets my husband, considered a poor second!