Navigating between siblings

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-05-2005
Navigating between siblings
18
Thu, 05-05-2011 - 3:55pm

It's been a bit of a crazy spring for us with dd20... for many and varied reasons, she dropped out of school in her final trimester (so close and yet so far...) - four classes from her degree. In the end, I think it was the right decision. A lot of stress and anxiety built up and she needed some time off to regroup. She is planning to finish next year, is living at home and is looking for a job.

OTOH, dd18 is thriving. She has a straight 4.0, in the honors college, just added a double major, and is looking to graduate in 3 years, maybe 3.5.

Dd18 is returning home tomorrow and I'm wondering how to "balance" my enthusiasm and be supportive of both girls. Dd20 feels horrible, like a failure, in spite of us repeatedly telling her that things will work out and we want to support her. I don't really know how things got so bad - I know her stepmom and siblings being in Japan when the tsunami hit was part of her anxiety, and in general, spring is her worst time of year. Her self-esteem has always been bad, which I've never really understood. She's very attractive, very gifted academically, and is a talented artist and musician. However, she always feels like she's screwing up and her siblings are all super successful

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Avatar for mahopac
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-24-1997
Thu, 05-05-2011 - 4:52pm

Theresa, you are always so self-aware. . . I am sure that your DDs will not feel slighted, simply because you'll behave naturally with both of them.

Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999
Thu, 05-05-2011 - 6:25pm

Remember, Theresa,

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-26-1999
Thu, 05-05-2011 - 9:39pm
Both the posts above mine echo everything I would have said. Your girls sound really close, and you are so very intuitive about their needs, I'm sure the "issue" is more yours than theirs. As sabr said, I'd celebrate them both by doing things with them together and separately. They both have their individual talents and positive attributes, just in different ways - and that is a good thing. If they were alike, there would be a lot more competition between them.

Your older dd is wise to know her own breaking point and withdraw before she reached it. She is bright and ambitious, and will finish in her own way and time. It may be that online classes may work best for her. Or she may just need time to work in a low-stress job, that requires little mental focus, like retail or simple office work. When I dropped out of college for a semester, I was pretty down on myself so I kept busy with an office job and theater in the evening. By the time the semester was over, I had a much healthier outlook on life and was ready to return. I say just focus on enjoying the summer, and try to be in the moment for now.

                        Calmama54, from the beautiful


iVillage Member
Registered: 10-25-2006
Fri, 05-06-2011 - 8:30am

We do have to be careful about how much we say to one sibling about another, but at the same time, I think it's important we be genuine with them.

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http://www.pnhp.org/news/2009/october/meet_the_new_health_.php

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DQTBYQlQ7yM

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-05-2005
Fri, 05-06-2011 - 8:46am

If you have gotten into a habit of talking to one about the other, though - even casually - it's probably time to wean yourself of it.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-05-2005
Fri, 05-06-2011 - 8:53am

even tho you are <<>>, do NOT show that favoritism

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-05-2005
Fri, 05-06-2011 - 8:55am

When I dropped out of college for a semester, I was pretty down on myself so I kept busy with an office job and theater in the evening. By the time the semester was over, I had a much healthier outlook on life and was ready to return

You don't know how happy it makes me to hear this... I keep thinking that I have to really believe it will be okay so I can transmit that, fully believing it, to her. It reassures me that others had interruptions on their path as well and turned out fabulously!

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-05-2005
Fri, 05-06-2011 - 9:01am

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-14-2000
Fri, 05-06-2011 - 9:20am

It is tough at times to walk the fine line between the kids when they have such different strengths/talents/etc.

Pam
Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999
Fri, 05-06-2011 - 10:45am

Why not take dd20 with you?

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