RIVALRY : A relationship between two or more persons regularly competing for the same thing.
Sibling Rivalry is not a new thing and did not just start. It has been on for a while and if not properly looked into, it does not seem like it would be gone in a while. Most of these rivalries are caused by “parents” unknowingly in their bid of solving everyday issues and restoring sanity between their children which to them seems like the best way to go about it or showing affection and love to one child than the other,showering encomiums and accolades on one than the other subconsciously picking favourite out of the children.
Some if not most of us, have witnessed this first hand while growing up and may be caught up in the web now as parents, it stems from little things we do not take note of and blooms into a full blown undeniable rivalry. In instances where there are issues or arguments between kids while growing, most times after tussling and heated arguments with each other they proceed to hear the opinion of a third party which apparently turns out to be their “parents “, it is so frequent in cases where the children aren’t of the same age or sex. In the cause of resolving matters quickly and go back to what they were into earlier or that is their best shot at resolution, they scold the older/less favorite sibling.
In their words “He/she is your younger one, you should understand this and let go of some things ,forfeiting it for him/her should come naturally because you are older” making it known that their favourite/younger child can never go wrong forgetting that the older /other sibling has emotions that needs to be catered for too and most times having better cases in comparism with their other siblings and cannot prove their case as it is dismissed on arrival and the cycle continues. So when subsequent cases crops up, “older/less favorite sibling” feels there is no point taking it to the “higher authority “because justice would not be served, with them claiming the “younger /favorite sibling” is not wise enough to understand at that time, forgetting the acclaimed young one knows when and how to demand for what they want and when it is wanted without mincing words.
This becomes a routine as the “older/less favorite sibling” is forced to bottle up emotions, left to accept defeat when right, letting go of their rights so as not to be tagged the “Intolerant one”,this leads to avoiding contacts and plays that can lead to such “judgement” from their parent. The pattern continues subconsciously till they are fully grown but in most cases the gap can not be filled as the connection has not been there while growing. As adults with families of their own ,they hardly reach out to each other or visit, they only meet during family functions or on basis that can not be avoided. It gets so bad they can not seek each others counsel or share meaningful or helpful ideas without the consciousness of “I have a little say and I have to be elderly/less favorite one”not ringing, invariably family ties is gradually breaking off and it begins to affect their own offspring and their relationship with each other if not handled well or someone takes the bull by the horn.
Hmmn, I hear someone sigh already as the shoe fits perfectly either as the sibling or parent. You are beginning to See why your children are drifting apart or why there is no cordial relationship between you and your siblings. Now that we have identified the problem,it’s only necessary that we look for a way to move ahead. I hear someone say “it’s too late”now, Really? You think that nothing can be done to salvage the situation? Well I have a contrary opinion, why not let’s look at the few solution I am putting forth before concluding at least it is better late than never like they say.
As A Parent:
I presume now you have highlighted where you defaulted,i can only suggest we do the honourable thing of accepting our faults and apologize where necessary. Bring the children together, let the parties involved air out their mind and not go about it the traditional way of sweeping it under the carpet, make them see their faults and let them apologize to each other and make peace.
As a young parent, there is still alot of hope. You can start the redeeming session from now, I hear you ask how?
* Simple, henceforth make conscious effort to be fair as much as you can in your judgement.
*Teach them to resolve disputes, argument when it arises, apologize where necessary and not holding any grudge.
*Ask For feedbacks to know how they are adapting to the new way of resolution. It may look stressful but it’s efficient than the damage we are guiding against.
* Brace up and take the bull by the horn,reach out to each other.
* Make effort to resolve the rancour brewed over the past, accept responsibilities, apologize and make conscious effort to build a stronger bond. You may ask why all these? Because you need to heal and build a stronger family tie because in the end, we all need each other.
Huh,it is easier said than done right? But ever heard of “no harm in trying “?So go on, send that mail, SMS, make that call and get started.
Till you read from me and I hear from you, “It is never too late to, “MEND THE BRIDGE”.