I am the oldest of three children. I have a brother and a sister. My brother, who is the middle child, and I have always been very close. Sure, we fought when we were younger but nothing major, it was just the normal fights about sitting in the front seat of the car (remember when you could actually do that before you were 12?), what to watch on TV, etc. But by the time high school came around, we socialized with a lot of the same people and continue to be very close to this day.
My sister, on the other hand, and I have not talked since the beginning of January. That’s right, it has been more than four months since I have spoken to my sister and not because we got into a fight. We just don’t really talk. Never have. And because she travels extensively, she is rarely around for any family events, except major holidays.
My mother believes that deep-rooted sibling rivalry is the reason why we are not close but whenever I read about sibling rivalry, it doesn’t seem to fit. I don’t feel like we’re competitive with each other and I don’t think we ever were. But I’ll be honest, my relationship with her is always top-of-mind for me as I raise my own daughters. What makes some sisters “best friends” who talk five times a day? What makes some women do anything they can to be in the delivery room when their sister gives birth yet my own sometimes forgets to call my kids on their birthdays?
I read a piece in the New York Times in 2008 about sibling rivalry. It came out about the time that woman outed her sister for making up facts in an alleged memoir. The article has stuck with me – so much of it intrigued me. And I want so badly for my daughters to be close that I’m always trying to encourage them to be friends. We haven’t had real issues yet but I won’t deny, I’ve seen a creep and more bickering about who gets the bowl with more cereal – – seriously do I need to weigh it to prove that it’s the same?
While searching for the article, I found others that discussed sibling rivalry recently. Here are a couple here and here. Do you worry about your kids getting along? How do you handle sibling rivalry? Lots of people seem to recommend I Love you the Purplest.