Sibling Rivalry, Guilty Parents

“My mum never hid her preference for me. She always showed it to my siblings that I was her favourite. That happens even till date”. She said.

“So, how do your siblings feel about it?” I asked.

“Ah, they hated me when we were younger but as we grew older, they realized that I wasn’t at fault. They understood that my mum was the guilty one. I did not seek to be favoured”. She responded. “So, do you have a favourite among your kids?” She asked.

“No, I don’t. Each child has his/her own individuality and I don’t believe it should be used as a basis for judging my love for them”. I said.

Sibling Rivalry_Guilty parents

This discussion got me thinking about the extent parents go to manipulate their children; showing preference for a child and inadvertently breeding sibling rivalry. As much as I understand that it can be a difficult task not comparing child with child, I believe parents should always maintain a little restraint. Take a step back and think before talking or acting.

Children would always fight for the attention and acceptance of their parents. A wise parent will however treat each child as an individual, noting their individual temperaments and uniqueness. Each child cannot be the same. While some children are very brilliant and excel in academics, some may be poor in academics but perform excellently at handicraft. Another may be gifted in music, while another may be gifted in administration.

I applaud the siblings of this lady for rising above sibling rivalry as she stated that she still gets the preferential treatment till date; but not all cases end well. Some siblings have gone as far as hurting the favoured sibling or in some cases, living the rest of their lives hating the sibling because of a rivalry that was bred and watered by their parents.

The victim sibling begins to wonder where he/she went wrong; forgetting that the favouritism received from the parent/s had resulted in his/her becoming a victim.

Food for thought for Parents:

Why make your children become estranged from each other by fostering sibling rivalry? It is even more difficult when you are gone as you would no longer be there to bind them together as a family.

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