Sibling Rivalry – A Question for You
Hey girls! I only have a second to pop in because Luke and I are about to jump in the car and hit approximately 327 yard sales taking place on the Island this – our last – vacation morning. However, I’ve been working on some writing and wonder if you would help me with your depth of insight?
How many of you have brothers and sisters? Experience sibling rivalry much? I’m focusing my exploration on sister relationships so if you could tell me how you felt you measured up to your sisters where your parents were concerned and/or how your dailly interactions played out as a result of jealousy/rivalry, etc. I would be so helped. Also, how do you get along now?
And of course, if your sibling relationships were perfect then this question doesn’t apply. :)
Gotta go before I get left. Talk to you very soon!
p.s. Don’t forget to scroll down and visit this week’s featured blogs. Thanks for your hard work, Chrissy!
My sister is 10 years older than me, and there was just the 2 of us. So, we were raised, basically, in two different ‘eras’ of the family. My sister and I are now in our ‘middle years’ of life, and our parents are both gone. There is rivalry between my sister and I even though, as I said, we didn’t really ‘grow up’ together. In all honesty, I have to say that my sister seems to be much more ‘rivalrous’ (is that a word?) toward me than I am of her. I think she feels like my parents treated me ‘better’ because I was their ‘baby’, their ‘late in life’ child. She’s never expressed it, but I can still hear it in comments she makes, just little ‘hints’ of feeling jealous of me. It really hurts me sometimes, but I don’t let it get in the way of our relationship. I’d love to talk with you more about this, if you want to contact me. Your blog is beautiful, BTW.
Well when we were little I told my blonde-haired blued-eyed sister that she was adopted from china…haha….what does that say about me?
I have 4 siblings, 3 sisters and a brother; I am #4 in the order.
Sibling rivalry was a huge problem when we were young, so much so that my brother (poor dude, he was completely outnumbered) still prefers to keep his distance from the rest of us.
When there are 5 kids, an emotionally distant dad, and a mom working full time, it seems there is not enough parental time and attention to meet the childrens’ needs, and we ended up competing fiercely for whatever attention we could get. Looking back on my childhood, I think we each looked for a niche, something special or exceptional about ourselves, that would separate us from the pack. My oldest sister was the responsible one, one was very academic, one focused on music, and one excelled in athletics. I was the peacemaker who hated the conflicts. I always felt I never measured up in any of those areas (sports, grades, music); I always did well compared to my classmates, but never as good as one of my siblings.
We are all scattered across the globe now, so we don’t get to see each other often. My sisters and I are closer now than when we were growing up, but they are not my “best friends” and the ones I confide in. Honestly, I’m a bit jealous of sisters who are very close.
Looking forward to reading your insights!
I have two sisters, one older and one younger. There has never been a time of harmony with my older sister, even now. She is five years older. It used to pain me that she was so unkind to so many people in the world, my siblings included. My folks tried their best to encourage all her hopes for herself and she was given all the same privileges (college, car, huge wedding), yet her mean streak prevailed. Now, I wish her well and on some level probably love her as all humans love humanity. I do not let her into my life. It is sad and accepted with the other five sibs. My little sister, we get along famously and have a rich relationship. She is the baby of six children and to this day, we are close. Happy to share more about the dynamics – just shoot me an email.
I am the oldest of four. Two boys and two girls. My sister is three years younger and we are from a single parent home so I had a lot of responsibility taking care of the younger siblings growing up. My sister and I fought all the time. I rarely acknoledged her unless it was to argue. Looking back I feel so bad for the way I acted. Now, as adults we are the very best of friends. I could not imagine my life without her. I am so thankful that God put us together and only regret I didn’t realize this sooner. The relationship between sisters can be one of the very closest when you can finally move past the rivalries and insignificant stuff. We are not only earthly sisters but the very best sisters in Christ and I love her so very much!
My sister & I are eight years apart and fought something awful while we lived with my parents. But as soon as I got married and moved out things changed. We became the best of friends. Nothing done or said during our time at home carried over to our adult lives. We have a great sisterly relationship.
There are three of us. My sister, the oldest, is only 11 months older than my brother. Then 12 years later, I was born. My sister, although raised in church, does not live like it. She has always been jealous of my brother who worked hard, and is now very successful. She has always been jealous of me, because our parents were more financially secure, and could do things for me, that they could not do for her. When I turned sixteen, she told my mom that if they gave me a car, she was going to stand out in the road in protest, because they didn’t buy her a car. Unfortunately, by her actions, she has pushed my brother away. He no longer wants to have anything to do with her. She has had a divorce, and her three adult children no longer have any kind of relationship with her. She is confrontational, anti-Christian, and angry. I try to keep a relationship with her (although we live in separate states), but it is very strained, as she is against all of my core values. I still love her, and pray for things to get better. My parents have both passed away, and I am glad that they are not here to see how her life is now, because it would break their hearts. My brother and I have an awesome relationship.
I had two girls, 2 years apart. My daughter would try to have the rivalry issue and I told them It was not happening. I made them hug until I “felt the love”, it sometimes took a while for the giggles to happen and they would start to laugh and really hug each other. We talked a lot about how Jesus’ brother and sister were probably jealous. I told them I loved them both and they were not going to be unkind to people I love while they are in my house. I wish I could say they are super close as adults, they like each other, but they don’t have a lot in common.
My sister and I are five years apart. To be honest we didn’t have much in common as we were growing up so there wasn’t much sibling rivalry between us. I also think my parents did a beautiful job of keeping things seperate for us. By that I mean, she got to do/get things that were age appropriate for her and I couldn’t get them until I was that age (or closer to that age). I hated it then but respect it now that I have two girls of my own. There was many a Christmas that I would whine about the Cabbage Patch doll I received because I wanted a desk for my room instead. :) Now, we are the best of friends with each other and my mom.
I have two sisters, one three years older and another 18 months younger. As kids we fought ALL the time. Usually it was two against one. Now that we are grown, I have the better relationship with my younger sister, and I think we fought the most when we lived inthe same house. My older sister and I hardly talk, mostly because of the terribly bad choices she has made with her life.
How did I/do I view what my parents thought/think? I feel like I was the “good” child. My older sister saw the rules and broke them and stood back to see if she would get into trouble. My younger sister toed the line, but didn’t get into trouble much. While I have made mistakes, I seemed to be the one who liked the rules and tried to keep them. Now, my Mom, my younger sister and I have a great relationship and talk to each other almost every day. (My Dad has since passed away, and we are in a step family now!) My older sister is obviously jealous of the relationship we have with Mom, but the choice was and is hers, and she continually chooses not to make the effort.
Does that help?
My sister is almost 3 years older than I am and we have no other siblings. When we were growing up, we fought ALL THE TIME! We fought over our clothes, what we were going to play with and my sister often told me I was breathing too loud! Even though we fought, I still followed my sister’s lead. If she told me to eat cheddar cheese and chocolate frosting, I did it. If she told me to close my eyes and open my mouth, I did it, only to be rewarded by a bar of soap. If she told me to go get a Kleenex for her, I did. I did want her approval. Because she was the more difficult one of the two of us, my parents seemed to favor me – usually siding with me on our disagreements. Looking back, we can see that much of our rivalry was probably related to competition over my parents’ (mainly our mom’s) attention/affection. We can see this because when my mom wasn’t around, we got along well. It broke my mom’s heart that we didn’t get along. She only had one sister who was 4 years younger who had downs syndrome, so she often felt like she missed out on the “normal” sister relationship and was disappointed that we took for granted the relationship that we could have. Our relationship improved when my sister moved out of the house and went to college. Then it got even better when we both began to have kids. We now are good friends and call eachother just to chat. My mom, of course is very pleased that we are friends, and so are we.
Lisa – I am the oldest of four girls – there were no brothers in our family. (My dad had 8 older sisters, so I believe that’s why they stopped after four girls. :) ) So to answer your questions – I definitely believe birth order had and still has to this day a definite impact on my relationship with my sisters. As the oldest, I remember hearing things like the following all the time as I was growing up: “you should know better,” “I expect you to be an example,” “don’t forget your little sisters are watching you.” And if there were fights or squabbles it was always my fault – no matter what – but we were still close. We fought mostly over stupid stuff – nothing big or anything that mattered. The biggest tragedy in our family happened 25 years ago when my sister only 2 years younger than me died in a car accident. That event changed everything and we all became closer. Now that I’m older I feel once again like the family matriarch even though our mom is alive and quite well! They tell me things they wouldn’t tell her because I can “handle it.” I don’t see my sisters as often as I would like to – and feel guilty for not calling or checking on them more often. I don’t think we had rivalry – our parents raised us to be independent and being raised in a military family taught us to adjust and adapt as well. I saw my youngest sister today. My parents live next door to me (as you know), and I believe I will be the one to care for them – another birth order responsibility… I think my Mom treats us all pretty much the same way she did when we were little girls – Jan, you show know better, and my two younger sisters are “the blessed ones.” Hahaha! I know I’ve rambled, but I hope this helps in some way!
Love you much,
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Asking about my relationship with my sister is like asking to open up a big can of worms, or roaches for that matter. I am sad to say my sister and I do not have much of a relationship. She is 9 years younger than me and we are completely different than each other. I believe most of her life she has felt that she did not measure up to what I did and was before her. The Lord has been softening my heart towards her, after years of painful events. The Lord is able to heal and redeem even this relationship. I would say that sibling rivalry can put a huge wall between family members and needs to be dealt with early on! Thankfully the story of my sister and I, is not yet complete.
I have one sister and two brothers. The girls are in the middle of the boys and I am 16 months older than her. I have always been considered the “good” child and she was the one who would push the bounderies and questioned all rules and standards our family had. We did everything together until I left for college and got married. As we have gotten older I can’t believe how much alike we are in things we like, yet we try to do things diffferent so we are not compared to the other. I have always had issues because she is a amazingly talented person in almost every aspect of the arts. She can paint, draw, design anything, cut hair, makeup, she has a beautiful voice … I have a really dificult time because I can not measure up to anything she does and even when I put myself out there and try people assume she did it or showed me how, so I often don’t even try. We do love each other to death and do alot of things together, since God has called my husband to pastor the church I grew up in and my family still attends. After being away from home for 15 years I have been back home for the last 7 and able to spend a lot of time with her.
I am the youngest of four girls. My two older sisters are two years apart, there is a seven year gap, then my other sister and I are exactly three years apart (I was born on her birthday). My two older sisters have always been more of the care-giver role with me. I’m the baby sister and I’m always left out of any family drama even as an adult as if they feel likke they still have to protect me from the big bad world. However, me and my sister closest to me fought and argued all the time growing up. We fought about clothes, doing chores, time on the phone, what tv shows to watch…anything! She was labeled smart and athletic, and I was labeled sickly and the church girl. I don’t think those labels came from our parents, though. They definitely loved the unique-ness of each of us. As adults, we get along just fine. We both married preachers and we both still celebrate our birthday together even though we live in different states.