When we were growing up, my younger brother and I thought that our parents favored our elder brother the most. It didn’t help that we were always in cahoots with each other to get into some kind of mischief while elder bro was the model child.
Looking back, I believe my parents did their best to treat us fairly. In spite of their best efforts, sibling rivalry was an inevitable part of our family life. Thank God it ended long ago, after our adolescent but now I see it happening with my kids.
I am always bombarded with the “Who do you love more?” question. Or they would innocently ask “If both of us fell into the river, who would you save first?” or the “I wish I didn’t have a brother!” outburst after a big fight.
They bicker, fight and compete for attention in spite of my reassurance that I love them both equally. The fact that they are both at a different stage of development and their different temperaments probably make the personality clash more apparent. How should a parent react?
Experts say sibling problems will arise regardless of the kind of parents we are or what style of parenting is used. They are a normal part of family dynamics. It is also very natural for parents to love their children equally, while favoring one over the other due to factors like compatibility, aptitudes or because a particular child is more compliant.
I try to tell my kids they’re each unique in their own way. I never did as well as my brothers when we were in school. Everyone had his own hang-ups and insecurities but we all turn into well-adjusted adults.
Well, we’re all learning everyday, as a parent, a child or simply as a human being. The kids will have to learn too.