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Post by Alethia on Wed Sep 14, 2011 5:17 am

Sibling Comparison or Differential Parental Treatment Effects on Children http://anamikas.hubpages.com/hub/Sibling-Comparison-or-Differential-Parental-Treatment-Effects-on-Children-kids-Parenting-Mistakes

Sibling Comparison Effects on Kids
Many Parents knowingly or unknowingly do the mistake of sibling comparison without thinking of the effects it could have on their children and many of us as kids have been victims of differential parental treatment. As someone who had been treated differently from my younger brother by my parents I nurtured feelings of jealousy, anger and hatred towards my parents and brother when I was young. Though I made amends on a later stage the mistakes I committed because of that almost ruined my life.

In Chand Chupa Badal Mein, a Hindi Serial by Rajan Shahi, we get to see the effects of sibling comparison and differential parental treatment on a younger sibling that he turns a rebel and seeks revenge on his elder brother and family who caused him pain as a child. Though that is a reel life story I have seen and heard many similar real life stories where the victims life got affected because of the treatment they have received as a child. Recently I met the Brother of a very close friend of mine and I thought that he was very sweet and nice. I also noticed that my friend was not much close to her Brother who literally seemed to adore her. On my talk with her she admitted that she has always hated her brother because her parents always seemed to have a different set of rules for her and him. She admitted that as a kid she always used to feel jealous, neglected and inferior because of the special treatment her Brother received from her father and mother. Though my friend has no problem with him now, she does not share a strong bonding with her sibling.

Every child is unique and different. As a child he or she has both positive and negatives. It is not wrong if a Parent compares the child to show his or her mistakes but it should be done in such a manner that he or she does not feel inferior. Many parents not only do sibling comparison but also with peers. Somehow, many kids are able to tolerate outer comparison much better than that is done at home. Many times sibling comparison and differential parental treatment affect the kids and hurt them so badly that they grow up feeling worthless and neglected. Many such victims of Bad Parenting lose their self confidence or they get indulge in many harmful activities like taking drugs, stealing, cheating, killing or many other things. Many Parents as a part of their disciplining efforts call their children ‘bad’ and ‘useless’ even in front of others without realizing that it may encourage the child to be really bad and useless. I remember a mail received from a 15 year old girl who was beaten up black and blue by her Indian Parents who told her that she was bad and characterless after they saw her talking to her friend’s brother. She wrote to me that ‘They called me bad and characterless when I did nothing wrong – so I thought why not be really bad?’ She went into a revenge mode by sleeping with a stranger. But after she did it she felt guilty and to add to her troubles she even got pregnant making her parents add more fuel to the fire. Why I narrated this incident is to tell that one has to be very tactful when dealing with children and one wrong move could spoil everything. This girl could have been dealt differently by her parents but instead they chose to insult and abuse her without even hearing what she had to say. Parents should show children where they are right and where they are wrong but it should be done in a tactful manner. A child’s mind is very sensitive and what he or she goes through in childhood can have a lasting impression on their minds even after they grow up. Putting down a child in front of another can cause them to consider the other as competitor or enemy. Too much affection and praises for one child and screaming and shouting for the other sibling is definitely not an example of Good Parenting. It is very important to give a fair treatment to kids when you have more than one child so that sibling rivalry is not created.

Parents should treat each child as an individual and do not make the mistake of ignoring children or not dealing with their problems.Still many Parents do sibling comparison because of their misguided thinking that it is a good way to motivate kids or set them right. But in reality, children often feel less motivated than ever. Many children when they feel that they cannot live up to their siblings accomplishment, stop trying to better themselves. Pampering a younger child in front of the older or vice versa can lead to insecurity in the child so it is important to strike the right balance. It is noticed that elder kids are mostly treated strictly by Parents and asked to be responsible and forget and forgive the mistakes of the younger one which can make the elder one feel that the Parents does not care for him or her as much as the sibling causing rivalry and rift between siblings. So it is better to eliminate comparisons between siblings and create an effective communication with them as individuals by dealing with them separately. Every parent has to think the way they are handling their children and remember that their behavior can affect the future of the children.


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Post by melodiccolor on Wed Sep 14, 2011 3:28 pm

Even when parents treat their children individually, the children will still note the differences and act accordingly. Resentment and acting out, sibling rivalry will result if parents don't pay attention to it and the underlying causes.

Still, some siblings do end up close anyway. So I guess it can also depend on overall family dynamics as well.

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Post by mtngrl123 on Wed Sep 14, 2011 6:12 pm

Parenting is something which to me is of the utmost importance. You are entrusted with the care and up-raising of another human life.When I think of this it always causes me to pause......wow..a human life....This is not somehting i can screw up

Yet I witness so many people approach parenting with the same importance as doing the groceries.(Please note this is a comment made in general and certainly not to any one on this board:))

Children are entrusted to us. They are not our property. To compare them to their siblings is ridiculous. They each are individuals with their own strength and areas to be further developed. To rank them or compare them to their siblings or anyone else is irreprehensible. It amazes me to see educated people spend hours studying the latest cell phone or electronic gadgets, trying to get jsut the right one. But the thought to spend that kind of energy and time into getting to know and do what is right for their individual child behooves them. Another thing which is frequent to witness is parents living out their dreams through their child....hello this is their childhood...you already had a turn.
Truly parenting is the easiest thing in this world to do. Accept and respect them for who they are, encourage them to be a better person today then they were yesterday. And love them, each and every day love them unconditionally. Accept their mistakes and help THEM identify solutions which will work for THEM. Keep on eye on our own baggage and be careful to not pass it down to them. They do not deserve it any more than we deserved it. But truly it is up to us to stop the cycle.

I will stop there as i could go on for days. Children, all children, are very dear to me and to see poor parenting gets me on my soap box pretty fast. I do not mean to lecture, I do not have all the answers and yes I have also made mistakes. Many more than I wish I had. But I try to take my own mistakes as a teachable moment and help them learn so that hopefully one day they will be a better parent than I am.

It truly does not have to be complicated...love, accept and respect them unconditionally....really that is all it takes. I will inlcude my alltime favorite quote on kids...

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts.
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
For even as he loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable.

~ K Gibran ♥


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Post by Trien on Wed Sep 14, 2011 7:33 pm

It truly does not have to be complicated...love, accept and respect them unconditionally....really that is all it takes. I will inlcude my alltime favorite quote on kids...

you know, it is not that simple mtngrl. It is just not. If it was that simple , well, there would only be good parents and good kids. you see, some parents come from dysfunctional families, from broken families, kids are being hurt in whatever way, they become parents and they never experienced unconditional love so, they can not give it to their kids. also for other reasons, they cannot give it. but than there is the process of forgiving.
you see, I had to go through that. my father came from a very unfortunate childhood and in his ways he was not able to give unconditionally, to love unconditionally.... so......
through therapy ( which I a still doing) I gained so much insight, had to go through stages of anger, sadness etc... to come to forgiveness. and... yes I make mistakes too, I talk openly with my kids about this. ( I mean my mistakes) . but I can say now that I stopped that cycle of abuse and other things. I stopped it. you see, that's not only me but so many other people. Love hurts, but love heals......
yes, it is upsetting to see how parents are with their kids. very upsetting.
but there is always that chance of healing, always,.....
there is beauty in that healing process, really there is.
also as a human we WILL make mistakes, we can not avoid that.
that's part of life.
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Post by Alethia on Wed Sep 14, 2011 9:00 pm

Trien wrote:It truly does not have to be complicated...love, accept and respect them unconditionally....really that is all it takes. I will inlcude my alltime favorite quote on kids...

you know, it is not that simple mtngrl. It is just not. If it was that simple , well, there would only be good parents and good kids. you see, some parents come from dysfunctional families, from broken families, kids are being hurt in whatever way, they become parents and they never experienced unconditional love so, they can not give it to their kids. also for other reasons, they cannot give it. but than there is the process of forgiving.
you see, I had to go through that. my father came from a very unfortunate childhood and in his ways he was not able to give unconditionally, to love unconditionally.... so......
through therapy ( which I a still doing) I gained so much insight, had to go through stages of anger, sadness etc... to come to forgiveness. and... yes I make mistakes too, I talk openly with my kids about this. ( I mean my mistakes) . but I can say now that I stopped that cycle of abuse and other things. I stopped it. you see, that's not only me but so many other people. Love hurts, but love heals......
yes, it is upsetting to see how parents are with their kids. very upsetting.
but there is always that chance of healing, always,.....
there is beauty in that healing process, really there is.
also as a human we WILL make mistakes, we can not avoid that.
that's part of life.

Wonderful words trien...it is a journey in itself to unconditional love and only for those whose chose that path..your path opens up the others side where the dysfunction caused from an unfortunate childhood affects everyone down the line...you are empowering yourself to stop the dysfunction in your family line...the same thing I wanted as a parent to my son. Mistakes will always be, its how we see ourselves in that space, both in acceptance and forgiveness of self.... that will determine how we raise our children and how we view the world around us...Childrens sense and connection to hidden energy in parents may not reveal itself until they become a parent themselves.....its not always apprarent the damage from dysfunction until we take up the roles from where we learnt that space...and those roles reflect not only in our children but the world around us as well...love hurts yes and love does heal... Smile
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Post by mtngrl123 on Thu Sep 15, 2011 8:50 am

I agree with both of you entirely. And I actually think you did a better job of explaining what I was trying to say. It is the unlearning and the removal of our own hurts which we experienced which is extremely difficult. I did not mean for it to come across like i was belittling that challenge. Trust me I totally understand the struggles with it. Much more than I would ever have cared to experienced. But it was there and needed to be dealt with. Each day presents a new opportunity to continue to clean up the old closet as it were.
But with that removed or greatly diminished, the natural instinct of loving unconditionally comes shining through. And it this part which I feel is so easy. To me it is natural and instinctual. And it also feels so unbeleivably wonderful.

I also wanted to thank you both for sharing what you did. Sharing good feelings is easy and we all love to do that, sharing the not so fun stuff is more difficult and takes great strength and courage. can eel the great and uncondiitonal love you both feel for your children. See all we can do is our little bit and hope that it will spread like wildfire. We may not fix the world but we can certainly make a small dent in it. Smile

Thank you Both!


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Post by Alethia on Thu Sep 15, 2011 9:20 am

Yes mtn I understand the space you were speaking from..respect love and acceptance is the goal we can all attain for even if we are battling with our own dysfunction...your view of how you feel about other parents who may not take the care and love you approach parenting with...reflects how passionate you are about children...they are our most precious and we need to do all we can to protect them...in love acceptance and respect...I didnt feel you were belittling the challenge at all.
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Post by Alethia on Thu Sep 15, 2011 9:35 am

Growing up in my own house...I witnessed my mother in many ways favouring my younger brother in many situations where he was creating havoc..As a child looking in, I guess I felt this space and also used this space to act out when I felt pressured by my mothers expectations...I remember being very aware of my mother even as a young child..in that way. I had five older brothers, but that one space stands out quite strongly....how she had a soft protective spot for my younger brother...I dont believe that space created any real scars in his and my connection...but I do know the expectations from my own mother and her lack of acknowledgment for me in other areas might have activated more anger than necessary by witnessing her parent him in a more lenient, more protective manner...
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Post by mtngrl123 on Thu Sep 15, 2011 10:15 am

I understand.

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Post by Trien on Thu Sep 15, 2011 11:00 am

duon't worry about the belittling, it did not come over that way at all. as a matter of fact, I felt I needed to write this, it came 'spontaneously' . afterwards, i was exhausted ...... but that's okay. What I did was trying to go to my 'space', trying to center myself .... (it was already too dark to go to nature!)
I already know that you have that deep respect love for kids. you give them space to grow up and to become who they are.I know also that you have deeper connection, just like Alethia.
As a matter of fact, it felt a little freeing also to share my pain and my approach to it.
my feelings are still a little 'raw' , so I can not go into detail.


We may not fix the world but we can certainly make a small dent in it.

that's so darn right!

it is a journey in itself to unconditional love and only for those whose chose that path..



Alethia, always appreciate your input. so much wisdom! you and mntngrl.
yes, I am on that path and it has been a wonderful experience.
yes, sometimes I get carried away in my emotions, but I know I cannot stay there for a long time. it is too exhausting, it is depriving me from my energy. energy I can spend on people I really care about.

a hug from me to both of you! Smile

ps; hope one day we can chat! Wink
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Post by mtngrl123 on Thu Sep 15, 2011 12:38 pm

Me too Trien! I would love to!

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Post by Alethia on Fri Sep 16, 2011 7:36 am

Trien wrote: duon't worry about the belittling, it did not come over that way at all. as a matter of fact, I felt I needed to write this, it came 'spontaneously' . afterwards, i was exhausted ...... but that's okay. What I did was trying to go to my 'space', trying to center myself .... (it was already too dark to go to nature!)
I already know that you have that deep respect love for kids. you give them space to grow up and to become who they are.I know also that you have deeper connection, just like Alethia.
As a matter of fact, it felt a little freeing also to share my pain and my approach to it.
my feelings are still a little 'raw' , so I can not go into detail.


We may not fix the world but we can certainly make a small dent in it.

that's so darn right!

it is a journey in itself to unconditional love and only for those whose chose that path..



Alethia, always appreciate your input. so much wisdom! you and mntngrl.
yes, I am on that path and it has been a wonderful experience.
yes, sometimes I get carried away in my emotions, but I know I cannot stay there for a long time. it is too exhausting, it is depriving me from my energy. energy I can spend on people I really care about.

a hug from me to both of you! Smile

ps; hope one day we can chat! Wink


I am glad you shared your feelings.......your insight from your own journey and persepctive is valuable as is everyone else's.....and you are right, staying too long in some emotions can be tiring and deplete our energy...I have experienced that space many times...in the early days of parenting....when I was not in such a good space...Smile
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