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Old Today, 08:21 AM
 
Location: Greater NYC
2,751 posts, read 4,367,468 times
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My girls are 10 and 7 and very rarely have a disagreement and have never fought. Occasionally the little one is miffed for 5 minutes when the older one wants to read (she can read for hours) or do her own thing but that is the extent of it. They can play with each other all day long and thoroughly enjoy each other's company.

They do have very different personalities -- the older one more easy-going (though they both are people say), relaxed and a natural caregiver while the younger one is more opinionated but very helpful and sweet. Having two of the same gender (love this so much for various reasons), 3 years apart has been the best ever, we love it and wouldn't change it for the world. I can SEE them when they are adults... they will be extremely close.

I often wonder about siblings who fight all the time and are unkind to each other, especially those that are further apart in age. Is it more nature (the children and their personalities?) or nurture and how the parents cultivate the relationship between their children and, separately, what they do and don't put up with, do and don't encourage, not modeling empathy and respect for children for whom it does not come naturally.
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Old Today, 09:09 AM
 
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Why does society expect two people to be close just because they are siblings? Why should I be expected to be close to someone I wouldn't spend time with if we didn't share genetics?
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Old Today, 09:22 AM
 
Location: State of Denial
1,265 posts, read 501,089 times
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Two of my sisters were two years apart and never got along. Now they're in their 60's and still don't like each other.


I think there's something about a "two-year" separation that leads to a lot of rivalry. The younger one is near enough in age to the older one to want to do everything the older one does. The older one resents the younger one wanting to do the same things. You hear a lot of "I DIDN'T GET TO DO THAT WHEN I WAS HER AGE!!!!! NOT FAIR!!!!"
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Old Today, 10:35 AM
 
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Yeah 2 year age gap here. That is so over simplifying things. And totally discounting individual personalities.
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Old Today, 10:52 AM
 
Location: New Yawk
8,106 posts, read 4,059,217 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MurphyPl1 View Post
Why does society expect two people to be close just because they are siblings? Why should I be expected to be close to someone I wouldn't spend time with if we didn't share genetics?
^^This. Personality as a lot to do with it, I think. There is a three year gap between my oldest and middle kid, and a three year gap between my middle and youngest kid. The younger two are close and hardly ever fight with each other, but they both bicker frequently with the oldest; he can be a very difficult person to get along with, so Iím not surprised.
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Old Today, 02:13 PM
 
Location: Raleigh
5,491 posts, read 4,035,684 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MurphyPl1 View Post
Why does society expect two people to be close just because they are siblings? Why should I be expected to be close to someone I wouldn't spend time with if we didn't share genetics?
I think its so sad that you think like that.

Because you shared an upbringing, a common experience, uniquely common to you and your siblings alone. I remember my Dad telling us, he's your brother, you need to be there for one another in life. When you have no one else, you'll have your brother. You owe it to one another. You will, at some point, want to have them.

I'll tell you a story of five siblings, all my aunts and uncles, in order by age: Jim, Christina, Eddie, Matt, and Tommy. These are just a few shared memories of how they come together.

When Matt was young (21 or so), he got in bad trouble, didn't want to call his parents. He called his brother Jim, who helped him out...years later on Jim developed a bad drinking problem, Matt and Eddie helped him get back on his feet when he got out of rehab. Jim went on to do very well for himself as an entrepeneur with some seed money from their father.

Years later, the recession hit and Tommy was downsized. Jim hired Tommy at his firm, Tommy did really well. When Jim hit retirement age he made sure his brother had a job for a few years at the firm that bought him out.

My grandparents health declined as they aged. It was good to have all five of them there to help. Some were certainly more talented at caregiving than others, and Christina shouldered the biggest of that burden, but everyone appreciated even the most hamfisted of them coming over to share a meal.

Christina was the one that fielded all the hard phone calls, but Tommy was good at talking to his parents, communicating, making sure he really bought into the assisted living facility He was going to, etc...Christina and Eddie would be in tears trying to get him to go through a closet in the old house, and Tommy would come in and have it done in 45 minutes, with Granddad laughing the whole time.

Eddie got pancreatic cancer, shortly after their father passed. Christina executed the estate in record time, to make sure his soon to be widow got her share of the inheritance so they could have it as they battled the cancer. It wasn't an enormous sum after their parents both separately had significant end of life expense, but it was nothing to sneeze at in the face of mounting costs of a protracted illness. It was good to have all of them help his wife and kids get him to and from Chemo, etc... Things got tight, and make sure he could keep current with all his life insurance, all the siblings helped out financially. We miss Eddie terribly but are happy to have had him.

This isn't to say there weren't arguments, fights, disagreements, etc...Including two who didn't speak for a year over a disagreement in the coaching of their kid's hockey team. But there were always there.

Now, I understand that if your sibling is a thief, or a psychopath, or some other kind of predator, then you have to keep healthy boundaries. Similarly, if one is a bad addict or untreated mentally ill, that manipulates, cons, or steals, you have to keep healthy boundaries and avoid enabling. I also understand that as parents age, if a sibling is one of the above, then it causes further problems as one is pitted against the other, often with some "reverse parental alienation" thing going on. A weak sibling that marries a predatory spouse can cause similar problems. But as often as these things happen, They are far from the rule.

I'm one of three. Of course we fought growing up. Of course, my brothers can get on my nerves, one more than the other. But my only wish looking back is that we had a 4th and 5th sibling.
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Old Today, 02:19 PM
 
Location: The analog world
12,479 posts, read 7,133,873 times
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^ Beautiful! This is exactly how families pull together in hard times and why we should all seek to maintain close relationships with our siblings.
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Old Today, 03:28 PM
 
4,450 posts, read 2,440,449 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaminhealth View Post
My grandgirl is 21 and grandson 18...but all their years of getting to this age, the boy teased and angered the girl so much. When I was in their company, it was dreadful how he egged her on and teased.

Now my daughter is taking them on holiday vacations, thanks to inheritance from father, and she says she hopes they will become closer. That would be nice but who knows.

My siblings and I never fought etc but miles kept us apart for the last 50 yrs. We were civil and as close as could be for the distances.

Comments.

If it's so bad at their ages that it affects those around them, I would tell them they can't go on vacation together unless they get along. Then stick with it. Leave the instigator home on the next vacation.

Aside from the sibling part of it, I would be concerned somewhat about an 18 yo boy who treats a girl, even his sister, like that. In today's world, he should be learning how to treat people. He won't get away with treating females poorly as an adult and attitudes start at home. But I only have boys, so maybe I'm off target regarding m-f siblings.
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Old Today, 03:59 PM
 
7,248 posts, read 4,598,142 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by randomparent View Post
^ Beautiful! This is exactly how families pull together in hard times and why we should all seek to maintain close relationships with our siblings.
You can't, when one is a sociopath.
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