Updated: Jan 3
Here's part two of our siblings series.
Click here for Part One. You'll want to read it and then come back for this follow-up article on birth order.
The Roles we play
Now we're going to look at WHY they play certain roles.. We're going to have a look at Birth Order and the impact it has on our beliefs about ourselves.
When one of my kids start on the "He started it"..."No, she did.." my answer is often "You know what, it all started before you (the younger one) were born, not today when he took the pen and she pulled a face"..
In general, when I get a group of parents together in a workshop, and we split into groups of eldest/middle/only/youngest, we often find we have some similar characteristics...
Eldest siblings tend to have the 'police/cop' role, and have a strong sense of fairness/justice. They are also the most competitive.
Middle ones can be our people pleasers/mediators (or perhaps the rebel, if their elder sibling takes the 'smartest/best' place)
Youngest siblings are often either manipulative (the adorable baby of the family that has everyone waiting on them) or else may be insecure (I can't do what my older brother can do, so I'm not good enough).
Only children often see themselves as special, (or may compare themselves to adults, and suffer with inadequacy).
WE, as parents, often inadvertently strengthen those beliefs. When we see our kids fighting, our tendency can be to repeatedly ask the elder sibling what's going on (I know I do) which further reinforces their role as the cop, as well as their belief that they are being unfairly singled out.
Think back again to your own childhood and try to see which role you played. And what about your own kids - which role have they chosen for themselves?
More on Sibling Rivalry
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