The focus of this paper was understanding the struggles a first-born child faces through the addition of a sibling into the family system. A review of familial patterns that may foster conflictual sibling relationships was reviewed. Research on first-born behavioral concerns through the addition of a sibling, including the changes in mother-child and father-child interactions, were examined. Definitions of the Adlerian Four Goals of Misbehavior were given, along with the impact of parental behavior. Utilizing the information from the collected research and definitions of the Four Goals of Misbehavior, this project attempted to identify effective parenting skills for responding to a child facing the addition of a sibling. Recommendations were included on how parents can best avoid behaviors that may adversely impact their child, how to most effectively foster healthy behavior from the child, and a recommendation was given to take advantage of STEP programs.
Keywords: Adlerian therapy, birth order, first born, parenting, systematic techniques for effective parenting