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Dr. Jonathan Caspi Remarks on how the Pandemic Tests Siblings…and their Parents

Posted in: College News and Events

Dr. Jonathan Caspi, Professor in the Family Science and Human Development Department, remarked on how sibling relationships are affected during the coronavirus pandemic, with families staying at home. He noted that good relationships often improve under difficult situations, with some siblings drawing closer during events such as a parents’ divorce. But the reverse can bet true — poor relationships can get worse. He stated, “Spending so much time together, generally, makes for better relationships because you’re forced to work through conflicts.”

He also gave the following advice for parents to stay sane.

  • Look after your own mental health. “”When they see and feel this tension, they fight more. It’s important to take stock of your own anxiety,” Dr. Caspi said.
  • Praise the good moments. Like not waking a sleeping baby, it can be tempting to leave your kids alone when they’re playing nicely and get some work done. But you should be. “If you’re only parenting the bad stuff, it can make you feel like you’re failing,” he said
  • People who are closer report fighting more, Dr. Caspi noted, and you should take comfort in that fact. “People who don’t — they’re not in each other spheres.”

Dr. Caspi specializes in sibling relationships, sibling aggression, sibling abuse, and forwarding human development theory. He also practices family therapy an clinical social work supervision and field instruction.