| Register  | FAQ  | Search | Login 
It is currently Sat Oct 25, 2014 11:36 pm

All times are UTC - 6 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 34 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: Sibling Relationships
PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2012 9:03 am 
Offline
Level 7 Vegan
User avatar

Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 3:30 pm
Posts: 1570
Location: Maine
I've mentioned here before that I have an awful relationship with my sisters (twins, 4.5 years younger). We never got along as children and I want nothing to do with them as adults; the only reason I still see them is they still live with my mother (at age 28). We have very different personalities and would probably not have been close even with great parenting, but the more I read and think about raising my own kid(s), the more I realize just how awful my own parenting was. I just finished Siblings Without Rivalry, and I'm feeling angry reflecting on my childhood, where I was shamed for expressing negative feelings, pigeonholed as The Responsible One, and expected to put up with my siblings' verbal and physical abuse without causing a scene and stressing out my poor, poor mother.

Anyway, all this has me terrified to add another kid to our family, even though I'd really like to. So parents of more than one kid, tell me some positive things. Tell me I am not doomed to have kids who hate each other. What things/ strategies/ methods help them develop a good relationship? What have you done that has not helped? Non-parents can chime in too, if you have ideas about your own siblings relationships.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Sibling Relationships
PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2012 9:22 am 
Offline
Semen Strong
User avatar

Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 7:10 pm
Posts: 19106
Location: Cliffbar NJ
Ugh, so sorry. No advice, just commiseration and a reminder that you're not your mom and are an awesome parent.

I have a similar history. I am the oldest of 2 (18m apart) and its like my mom just stopped seeing anything lovable in me after she had my sister, who is quiet, supersmart and very lightskinned. I am so scared that if we had a second, i'd stop loving L as much or would compare them and play favorites. I am a lot more like my mom than i want to admit and it scares me.

_________________
My oven is bigger on the inside, and it produces lots of wibbly wobbly, cake wakey... stuff. - The PoopieB.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Sibling Relationships
PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2012 10:21 am 
Offline
Dead by dawn
User avatar

Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 9:54 pm
Posts: 7945
Location: Seattle
My sister (27 months younger) and I have always been close and gotten along pretty well. I mean, we shared a room as preteens/teens and there were definitely arguments and resentment (I was messy, she was neat, I borrowed her clothes without asking, stuff like that.) But it was just the stuff you'd expect from two hormonal/emotional girls forced into close quarters. But when I left home for college, she followed me to the same city and school two years later. As adults, we have remained very close and she's really one of my best friends. We are very different personality-wise but we have a lot of shared interests (same taste in music so we go to show together, train together, etc...) All of which is just to say that the sibling relationship can be really great. I don't know what, if anything specific, that my parents did to foster that. I think maybe a lot of just came out of both of us feeling very secure that our parents loved us. Like neither one of us felt rivalry feelings because we didn't feel like the other was getting "more" from our parents. I will ask my mom if she has any insight or if it was something she actively thought about managing.

_________________
facebook
"The PPK: Come for the pie; stay for the croissants." - tinglepants!
"Cockblocked by Richard Branson- again!" - Erika Soyf*cker


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Sibling Relationships
PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2012 10:42 am 
Offline
Making Threats to Punks Again
User avatar

Joined: Sun Oct 24, 2010 2:14 pm
Posts: 1096
Location: 'Burbs of California
I've been thinking about this a lot recently since Lydia is going to be less than 2.5 years older than the twins-- that's 3 kids pretty close in age. I should see if I can get Siblings Without Rivalry from our library-- I really thought the authors' other book, How to Listen So Kids Will Talk, is a great book, and I didn't know they had another one.

My sister (4.5 years younger) and I have a pretty good relationship, certainly not perfect, and we've always gotten along pretty well. We aren't exactly the closest, and I do wish we were closer sometimes, but at least it's overall a positive relationship in my life. I do think that we get along as well as we do because my mom was pretty good about doing this too--
monkeytoes wrote:
I think maybe a lot of just came out of both of us feeling very secure that our parents loved us. Like neither one of us felt rivalry feelings because we didn't feel like the other was getting "more" from our parents.

There were many other people in our lives (like aunts and grandparents) who displayed pretty obvious preference for one of us over another, but I think my mom trying so hard to be fair to each of us helped a lot.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Sibling Relationships
PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2012 11:30 am 
Offline
Addicted to B12 Enemas
User avatar

Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2010 9:09 am
Posts: 250
Some good thoughts on here - definitely remember that all of us are not our parents. None of us are perfect parents, but we also aren't destined to repeat mistakes our parents made.

My experience is limited as my two are 7 months (Charlie) and 3 1/2 (Lucy). I will say that it's been amazing so far. The baby has been so stinking easy and loveable, especially compared to a three-year-old, but there isn't a day that goes by where I'm not reminded of how much I adore and love Lucy. She's been an amazing big sister, and seeing the love she has (so far, anyway) for Charlie makes having double the work well worth it for us. We can also see how much Charlie lights up when he sees her or "plays" with her, which is really pretty amazing. I wouldn't change anything about having a sibling for her, so far.

_________________
It's not like I'm busting out my boobie tassles and shouting, "BEHOLD! THE MIRACLE OF LIFE!" - TheCrabbyCrafter


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Sibling Relationships
PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2012 11:31 am 
Offline
Dead by dawn
User avatar

Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 9:54 pm
Posts: 7945
Location: Seattle
Now I've been thinking about this all morning... One thing I can say for sure is that I never felt compared to my sister. "Why can't you be more like your sister?" just wasn't something that was ever expressed or implied in our home. When we shared a room, my mom definitely asked me to consider how my mess affected my sister, but the focus was on my behavior, not on some shortcoming in my character (but I guess that's just good parenting vs specific to fostering a good sibling relationship.)

_________________
facebook
"The PPK: Come for the pie; stay for the croissants." - tinglepants!
"Cockblocked by Richard Branson- again!" - Erika Soyf*cker


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Sibling Relationships
PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2012 11:36 am 
Offline
Married to the wolfman
User avatar

Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 9:49 pm
Posts: 5981
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
I'm the third of five kids, I have siblings galore. Our relationships run the gamut. My oldest brother is a genuine sociopath, and I haven't had any contact with him for over a decade now and don't intend to change that. My sister and I didn't get along as kids, but are good friends now. (Interestingly, we were pitted against each other very hard by just about everyone in our family.) My younger brothers and I have always gotten along well and I'm close with them.

The thing is, you can't determine what their personalities will be like or if they'll have similar interests etc. But you CAN treat them all equally and you can mediate conflict and make sure no one is being mistreated.

_________________
"Hummus; a gentleman's vice." -- Mars

coldandsleepy cooks, THE BLOG!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Sibling Relationships
PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2012 11:40 am 
Offline
Banned from Vegan Freaks.
User avatar

Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2010 2:24 pm
Posts: 383
Location: North Carolina
I'm not a parent, but I had two older brothers and we generally got on well. We still get a long too. I think my parents, especially my mom, just brought us up to appreciate what we had in each other. She was an only child and would immediately stop any fights she saw start, as well as making sure we had lots of positive interactions. Yes, there were still some disagreements and hurt feelings, but overall the three of us still love each other.

_________________
A bunny's a delightful habit, no home's complete without a rabbit.--Clare Newberry


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Sibling Relationships
PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2012 11:47 am 
Offline
Married to the wolfman
User avatar

Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 9:49 pm
Posts: 5981
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
Oh, and about my experience having a second:

It had been really interesting for me, because while it hasn't made me love the Emperor less, it has made me see him differently. Traits I didn't really notice before (some good, some not good) have become apparent to me. I feel like I see him more as an actual person now than as a perfect baby, and overall I think that's probably a good thing.

People always used to say to me, boy, he's really a strong personality... And I didn't really understand it. I thought it was just the intensity of our relationship, or how I was filtering it or something. But now I realize, he is really kind of an intense person. And that's okay. So am I. I learned to camouflage that a lot IRL, and I wonder if he will eventually too which makes me sad to think about. But anyway, that's more for another thread.

Anyway, so far they get along really well. I hope it'll continue. I'm sure they'll have bumpy patches but I really hope they'll end up liking each other.

_________________
"Hummus; a gentleman's vice." -- Mars

coldandsleepy cooks, THE BLOG!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Sibling Relationships
PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2012 11:56 am 
Offline
Should Write a Goddam Book Already
User avatar

Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 6:08 pm
Posts: 1017
Location: Notavandownbytheriver
Yeah, my sister and I have always been pretty close (we're 20 months apart). When we were younger, we bickered about things like whose turn it was to do such-and-such chore, and in shared spaces, we fought because I was a slob and she was neat. I don't remember us ever being outright mean to each other, though (no name-calling, no trying to get the other in trouble). My brother was 10 years older, so there wasn't any way we couldn't get along--he was always looking out for his little sisters. Like monkeytoes, I have parents who never compared us to each other. We had some of the same activities, and some that were very intentionally our own.

Thing is, there was a lot of inequity through no fault of us or our parents. My mom was young when my brother was born, so he was the guinea pig for parenting; my sister has a rare disability and almost died in the first few years of her life; I was really healthy and school was easy for me. Both my siblings struggled in school in spite of having higher-than-average intelligence; I had a really easy time in school and wasn't shy like my sister. I know, at times, it looked to my sister like everything was unfairly easy for me. And in turn, I was sometimes jealous of the time and attention my sister had when she was sick, because I didn't understand how critical things were. But my parents recognized how different the three of us were and did their best not to leave anyone out. We knew they didn't have favorites--they constantly reinforced that they loved us equally--and that mattered.

I guess I tell you this whole story to ease your fear of repeating the past. You are not your parents and it sounds as though they weren't self-aware. You are...and if you're making the conscious choice to not treat your children unequally, they'll figure that out. Even when situations or hands dealt aren't equal, they'll know they have just as much of your love as their siblings do. Just let them know they're a-okay as they are.

_________________
"So often I wish Adam were a real boy." - interrobang?!
"If he was you'd hear him farting at the back of your yoga class." - 8ball


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Sibling Relationships
PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2012 12:04 pm 
Offline
Level 7 Vegan
User avatar

Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 3:30 pm
Posts: 1570
Location: Maine
This is all really helpful stuff. Keep it coming.

monkeytoes wrote:
When we shared a room, my mom definitely asked me to consider how my mess affected my sister, but the focus was on my behavior, not on some shortcoming in my character (but I guess that's just good parenting vs specific to fostering a good sibling relationship.)


But good parenting enables good sibling relationships; I think it's hard to have one without the other. In my house, that situation would have been "Why are you trying to make things so difficult for everyone? You know your sister will go crazy when she sees what you've done." And then I'm resentful that I have to walk on eggshells because my parents can't be bothered to deal with my siblings' obvious rage issues...

helbury wrote:
I should see if I can get Siblings Without Rivalry from our library-- I really thought the authors' other book, How to Listen So Kids Will Talk, is a great book, and I didn't know they had another one.


It is a good book, though somewhat scary. It's all about sibling conflict, so by the time I finished it I felt like having a second kid would be huge mistake since siblings aparently fight 95% of the time. I started this thread to hear some happy things, like sofrito's post. :)


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Sibling Relationships
PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2012 12:14 pm 
Offline
Invented Vegan Meringue
User avatar

Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 12:16 pm
Posts: 3872
Location: Panama City, Florida
I'm the oldest of 3. My brother is 2 years younger, and my sister is 4 years younger. I didn't get along with either of them growing up and now we are close but not close as friends if that makes any sense. I've always been very different than both of them. They've always been best friends.

My kids are far apart in age (9 1/2 years) and so far it's working out really well. They both absolutely adore each other. Can't really imagine things being better between the two of them. But Silas is only 4, so plenty of time for them to annoy each other!

_________________
etsy shop: teeny tiny tantrums


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Sibling Relationships
PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2012 12:50 pm 
Offline
Bathes in Braggs
User avatar

Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 7:48 pm
Posts: 1374
Kelly wrote:
My kids are far apart in age (9 1/2 years) and so far it's working out really well. They both absolutely adore each other. Can't really imagine things being better between the two of them. But Silas is only 4, so plenty of time for them to annoy each other!


I came from the same situation. My brother is 10 years older than me, and he and my parents absolutely loved it. My parents loved having a built-in babysitter, and my (very introverted) brother had an instant sidekick that really helped him come out of his shell.
I don't think we're going to wait that long for the second one, but I can definitely see why some people do!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Sibling Relationships
PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2012 1:56 pm 
Offline
Remembers When Veganism Was Cool
User avatar

Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2010 1:04 am
Posts: 2477
Location: UK
I have a sister who is 18 months younger than me, a brother who is 3 years younger, and another sister who is 12 years younger. I think we (the eldest three) had a fairly normal childhood: we fought at home but would back each other up to the hilt outside. The relationship with my youngest sister was different because of the age gap - I think for the first few years of her life we treated her rather like an exotic toy!
We are in our mid-30's/late 40's now, and are extremely close. I can't imagine being without them. No-one makes me laugh like they do. I think most of that is due to my parents, who gave us a pretty idyllic childhood on a very limited amount of money. They went out of their way to treat us all equally, and I never felt that I was "competing" with my siblings. One thing I do remember is that my parents made a concerted effort to give all of us regular "alone" time with them, where we had their undivided attention.

_________________
Everyone turns into Boo Radley, if they live long enough ~ seitanicverses


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Sibling Relationships
PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2012 2:12 pm 
Offline
Drinks Wild Tofurkey
User avatar

Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 4:12 pm
Posts: 2667
Location: MKE
I am 3 1/2 years younger than my sister and we are pretty close...we only fight because we each think we know how to solve the other's problems...too helpful.

I think a lot of that is because there was not a lot of competition for parental love in our house, like others have said...we were very different growing up, but my parents each had things that one or both of them did only with us...sports things with me, concerts with my sister, that sort of thing. I think you can do things differently than your parents as long as you are aware of what you didn't like and how you can avoid it. Both my parents have horrible relationships with their siblings; lots of sibling rivalry and that sort of thing, so I know it is possible to not continue that!

_________________
"I think I am going to turn into a chickpea." ~Dakini
Love is like a pineapple, sweet and undefinable ~ Piet Hein


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Sibling Relationships
PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2012 2:12 pm 
Offline
Dead by dawn
User avatar

Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 9:54 pm
Posts: 7945
Location: Seattle
mittenmacher wrote:
...since siblings aparently fight 95% of the time.

See, from the perspective of someone with a good relationship with their sibling, my response to that is sort "So what?" as long as "fighting" is defined as arguing, bickering, getting upset with each other (not physically getting into fistfights...) I can't think of many super close relationships that don't include some strife. I "fought" with my best friends as a kid, most spouses "fight" sometimes, why should siblings be any different? It's only a bad thing if there's no love or bond underpinning the relationship. For those of us who had healthy sibling relationships, "fighting" absolutely happened sometimes, but it was quickly forgotten. Maybe there was even a lesson in there about not having to agree with someone 100% of the time to keep the peace because if there's a strong enough bond you can disagree and make up and move on (what if we went into romantic relationships without ever having learned that arguments aren't the end of the world?)

_________________
facebook
"The PPK: Come for the pie; stay for the croissants." - tinglepants!
"Cockblocked by Richard Branson- again!" - Erika Soyf*cker


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Sibling Relationships
PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2012 5:33 pm 
Offline
Top of the food chain & doesn't need to prove it
User avatar

Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 2:35 pm
Posts: 633
Location: New Zealand, bottom of the world
I can't comment from the parent perspective yet, but:
I have one brother, 20 months older, and we were best of friends growing up, never fought, never argued, never felt in competition with each other or like we were being compared. We studied the same degrees at university and took some classes together but never competed over grades or anything.
I think my parents just created an environment in which we were able to be our own selves, and praised/disciplined us on our individual merits/faults, and I also feel like our closeness in age helped, but of course that's my only experience so I don't know that we wouldn't have been equally close had we been further apart in age.

My husband is the oldest of five children, now aged 16-27, who all get along well but fought a lot [and some still do] and competed over everything [the best presents, first choice of seat, biggest portion of dinner, anything] and still do. I recognise that all families are different and the siblings all seem to have good relationships with each other, but I still see many facets of their upbringing that I will be consciously trying to avoid with my own family.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Sibling Relationships
PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2012 6:29 pm 
Offline
Drunk Dialed Ian MacKaye
User avatar

Joined: Fri Oct 22, 2010 5:47 pm
Posts: 1868
Location: NC
I absolutely understand your fear about adding another kid. On one hand my daughter is just amazing, brilliant, and hilarious, and I could see her easily taking center stage over a quieter kid. On the other hand, all of that personality means that she isn't always the easiest kid to parent, so I could also see favoring the path of least resistance. But the funny thing is, realizing that means I would probably be aware enough to stop it from happening, and I imagine the same would be true of you.

As far as parenting, I think there is a lot you can do to foster close relationships, but in the end siblings are people and sometimes people just don't mesh well. My sister and I were incredibly close up until a few years ago (we're nearly 10 years apart in age, though) and we had terrible parents. The main reason we're not close now is complicated, but not really my parents' doing. And I've known people with nice, normal families who were never close.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Sibling Relationships
PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2012 7:41 pm 
Offline
Has it on Blue Vinyl
User avatar

Joined: Sat Oct 23, 2010 8:04 am
Posts: 2176
Location: nj
This thread is really interesting and helpful since I'm thinking of adding another kid and having a million fears about it.

I had one older brother, 4 years older than me, while my husband was an only child. He is totally into having a 2nd kid because I guess he was lonely, but I am always telling him how it is no guarantee of a friend - my relationship with my brother was hell on earth for the first 18 years or so!

I think it was for a different reason than anyone has mentioned so far - my parents were very authoritarian and patriarchal. So everything was chalked up to 'boys being boys". Like when my brother would practice all of the latest 80's wrestling moves on me. I will unfortunately never forget superfly snuka and atomic knee drops. Also he would throw me in our pool and drown me, or bury my head in the snow with his friends holding me down. What i remember about all of this was that i was somehow always "the instigator", even though I really don't remember anything I did that was exceptionally annoying. That's what my mom would always say, "Aubade...don't be an instigator!" Considering that I now know my family has a tendency to blame women for everything (like my poor aunt who was beaten by her late husband, it was always her fault) I don't really believe I instigated anything. I think my family was just very old school male-dominated.

This continued into high school, when my brother already had a car and refused to take me anywhere. We lived by the beach and he was always going surfing, but would not take me. It wasn't even like I wanted to hang on to his every move - I just would have liked a ride to the boardwalk! But my parents never said, "Hey, why don't you give your sister a ride?" Also my brother got to do everything, going out late at night, no questions asked, whatever. Whereas I always had earlier curfews, stricter rules etc.

Still, I never really held it against him. And after I went away to college, he met a woman who he married and is still with, and magically became Mr. Domestic. ha When I was 19 I went through some tough times and he was really cool about it, and we've been relatively good friends ever since. He is still way more conservative than I am, and totally opposite me in many ways, but we love each other and clearly value our family ties, especially since we are in a very small family.

So that was a long storyjust to say don't treat guys and girls differently hah. Not like ppkers are likely to do that. And definitely , if I have another kid, I will not accept that sibling rivalry is normal! At least certainly not to that degree. I would definitely step in if my older son was atomic knee dropping his younger sister! In my memory my parents never focused on the importance of the family being a team and getting along. It was all "do what your father says". Not really a surprise my parents ended up with a really messy divorce.

_________________
I'm not asking for utopian dreams...just a little peace in this world. That's a logical thing. - Deee-Lite


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Sibling Relationships
PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2012 8:17 pm 
Offline
Bathes in Braggs
User avatar

Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 8:11 pm
Posts: 1324
Location: Montreal
mitten, i have two sisters with whom i have neutral at best, and stormy at worst, relationships.

my youngest sister and i are not close at all. i mean, i love her, but we have very little in common and she is very conservative and religious. she takes a very black and white view of the world, partly because of personality and my parents' influence, partly because of her developmental delays. she will make very sexist remarks sometimes (like about how i didn't take my husband's name, or how i don't serve him food, or about other people she knows who are getting a divorce) and i try not to hold it against her, but it makes me realize that our world views are universes' apart, really... even without the big age gap and the developmental delays, i doubt we'd have much in common. but, because of the age gap, i can just play the role of big sister without too much strife... i take her out for lunch, we chat once in a while, she likes playing with my kid.

my other sister and i are only 18 months apart, and we have a stormy but close relationship. again, she is very religious and conservative, and we fight A LOT. i remember we played together really well until just before puberty, and then it was constant bickering until i left for university, and then it was the occasional epic blowout mixed with some more harmonious times. the blowouts are really truly bad though, and i am fully expecting for us not to recover from one, one of these days. however, we are both married, both have kids, enjoy chatting and spending (small amounts of) time together. we really are a source of support for each other, so i can say i'm really glad to have her in my life, even though she can get on my last nerve.

now that i'm about to embark on the journey of parenting siblings, i think that the fact that i don't really have any expectations about their relationship helps. i didn't have a second to give my first a best friend or a playmate. i think that it would be foolhardy to expect my daughters to like each other just because i happened to give birth to them. there are way too many factors out of my control there. i don't agree with everything my parents did in regards to my sibling relationships, but i don't know that i could have done any better. i'm just going to try to be as loving, fair and understanding as possible, and hopefully i'll end up with a pair that can at least be in the same room together.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Sibling Relationships
PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 11:09 am 
Offline
Addicted to B12 Enemas
User avatar

Joined: Thu Nov 10, 2011 9:47 pm
Posts: 255
Location: Toronto
I have two brothers. They aren't my best friends, but we have special relationships nevertheless that I really value. I'm very glad I have siblings. Family gatherings are fun; I've learned the important life lesson that relationships can and do weather ordinary conflict (with siblings, there's more of a need to patch over disagreements since you'll be seeing each other, and you have to rise to the occasion) and sometimes be the stronger for it; and I have co-conspirators when it's time to plan something nice for our parents (or one day, to take care of our parents).


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Sibling Relationships
PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 1:48 pm 
Offline
Inflexitarian
User avatar

Joined: Sun Jun 03, 2012 10:17 am
Posts: 756
Location: Toronto
I get along with my brother, but I haven't seen him since last December because I'm terrible at keeping in touch with anybody, regardless of relation.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Sibling Relationships
PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2012 12:48 am 
Offline
Smuggling Raisins
User avatar

Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 6:36 pm
Posts: 328
Location: Oakland, CA
I'm the eldest of three. I have two younger brothers, and we are all 2.5 years apart. As the only girl and the eldest, I had a lot of responsibility foisted upon me that I really resented. Both of my parents (they divorced when I was 13) would me make do household chores that they wouldn't have my brothers do, and when I complained about how stupidly sexist it was that the girl was doing all the dishes their argument was that my brothers didn't know how to do the dishes/make food/do the laundry. Which, obviously, is crepe. You learn by doing. But I'm glad now, sort of, because I am a good cook and like to iron and can clean a bathroom lickety-split.
My brothers also fought a lot. Incessantly. Violently. And my parents wouldn't stop them, or would only try half-heartedly to stop them. The eldest brother would just wail on the youngest, really beat the crepe out of him. It was heartbreaking and scary. Their relationship is less contentious now that they're 22 and 19, respectively, but they still have shouting matches when they're in the same house. The eldest brother also has a lot of unresolved emotional issues and is basically the classic middle child, in that he has a tough time with both of my parents and is constantly forking up in spectacular ways. It's so painful to watch. My parents did a lot of comparing, particularly between him and me, because I generally always got good grades, didn't get in trouble (didn't get caught!) and learned really young when to pick my battles with them. They really soured my relationship with that brother, because I know he resents me as "the perfect one" and I want to be close to him.
The eldest brother is now living with my mom, which is causing its own problems. She wants to move away from our home in SoCal to Austin, Texas and that has been a serious shock to him.

_________________
Sir Isaac Newton is the deadliest son of a bisque in space.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Sibling Relationships
PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2012 1:42 pm 
Offline
Brain Made of Raw Seitan
User avatar

Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 2:33 pm
Posts: 1219
Location: Tachyon-coma, WA
I'm the baby. I love my sister -- I would die for her and also just clean her bathroom -- lots of respect. My brother... I wish I didn't have one. That's what I'll say with the only addition of it was similiar to Aubade's where my dad was right, my brother got "boys will be boys." They (my parents) just finished paying off his court fines when my brother was like 26 years old. My sister and I are rebels, too, (my parents were too young for three in 4 years!) but we are capable of functioning and being happy much of the time.

I still have an only and I wouldn't mind this continuing forever but even if I have another I am sure I am capable of seeing them as separate people with unique, but equal needs. It is hard for me to imagine life without my sister but I imagine I would have been slightly more spoiled and a lot more lonely since my parents went off and did their own thing so often anyway -- totally different than helicopter-me.

_________________
This thread is about Rowans, Jason Mraz and vibrators. ~ Rowan


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Sibling Relationships
PostPosted: Fri Sep 28, 2012 2:01 pm 
Offline
Vegan Vegan Vegan Vegan Vegan
User avatar

Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 3:30 pm
Posts: 4589
Location: zomgz dijk
My sister and I are 18 months apart, and had a rough relationship for a long time because there were always comparisons made between us (and still are; I've started calling my dad out on this bullshiitake and it's only almost working). There was also a lot of drama when we were kids (our parents had a very ....violent.... divorce which started when I was about 5 and ended when I was 9 or 10) which left both of us with lots of angsty, angry energy that wasn't properly channeled. Our mom (single; super depressed) and grandparents kind of split the difference and chose activities which didn't really suit either of us. It made it easier for them, I'm sure, but was frustrating for both of us that neither of our talents or desires were explored. Once I moved out of the house (around 18), and once my sister started making thoughtful decisions (around 22), things started picking up between us. Somehow we managed to start deliberate, thoughtful email contact when I moved to India in 2007, and since then our relationship has been amazing and she's been my best friend.

My advice to parents would be: Treat your child as a thoughtful individual. Try to play to each of their strengths. Love them a lot, and make sure they know it. (Preaching to the PPK choir, I know. Still.)

_________________
ॐ लोकः समासतः सुखिनो भवन्तु
http://www.embracingtheworld.org


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 34 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

All times are UTC - 6 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group
Template made by DEVPPL/ThatBigForum and fancied up by What Cheer