This article contributes to the recent, but still limited, literature on the sociology of sibship. It argues that during childhood the ambivalent love/hate nature of sibship is played out through the sharing of knowledge, time and space. It draws on the work of Goffman to illustrate that children's sibling interactions tend to consist of backstage, rather than frontstage, performances. The article is based on children's own perspectives from a sample of 90 children aged 5–17 drawn from 30 families of mixed socioeconomic backgrounds in central Scotland.