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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iVillage Member
Registered: 08-06-2009
Mon, 05-30-2011 - 10:33am
Hi Theresa,
I'm sure you know your family best.
I did not intend to be offensive, my apologies.
Elle
Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999
Sun, 05-29-2011 - 1:46pm

I promise I'm NOT beating the dead horse.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-05-2005
Sun, 05-29-2011 - 11:35am

If your family tradition is to exclude others for the celebration of the one... Go the way of the tradition.
I do still think inclusion versus exclusion will impact family dynamics.

I know I'm beating a dead horse here, but I feel like you're using pretty inflammatory words here. Do you really think that our "tradition" is excluding others? I keep saying that we DO celebrate together. We've never NOT had a celebration for one child that didn't include all the kids. We celebrate each child's birthday together as a family. This isn't what we view as the celebration, it's the gift. I'm truly, honestly, amazed if we're the only parents in the world that have gotten one kid tickets to a basketball game, a concert, a show, movie tickets, whatever - that did not include all siblings. We might buy dd20 tickets to Lollapalooza (she loves it, but not dd18's cup of tea) or dd9 tickets to a train show (believe me, no one else wants to go), or we might buy them a jacket or new boots or a great book. But, in addition to that, we always, always, always celebrate each and every birthday of one of our kids TOGETHER as a family.

Okay, I promise to stop now, but I don't think the way we celebrate can be summed up as, "our family policy is to exclude siblings from one another's celebration." They might not share in the gift, but they ALWAYS are asked, and expected, to share in the celebration!!

Theresa

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-06-2009
Fri, 05-27-2011 - 10:35pm
Hi Theresa,
I,m not surprised about the different responses... We all do our best parenting.. With our different kids and experiences.

None of us know your kids like a mom does..nor the..we have done this same request since she was seven.

I do treat my boys equally....the only time I tried to say: you both got three presents..ended ups with "his cost way more than
mine."
So I understand the communist plots of equality in a family.
We can't always treat every one equally ...guess it becomes more fairly?

If your family tradition is to exclude others for the celebration of the one... Go the way of the tradition.
I do still think inclusion versus exclusion will impact family dynamics.
I, too, think it is interesting to hear other folks traditions.how else do we learn or grow as parents.
Maybe it goes back to listening to my youngest ask me: why did you have him first?
Or my oldest ask: why did you need to have another kid?

Yes we are all special... We become more when we look out side ourselves to our family/brotherhood of man....there is no I in team.
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-05-2005
Thu, 05-26-2011 - 5:39pm

would be strange to hear one of my two request a birthday wish that excluded family members.
your youngest is adding to your oldest feelings of inadequacies Isn't she?
i 'd feel like I would add to this distorting view by granting the wish.

I'm truly surprised that some people have found this strange. It's interesting to hear different perspectives on things. Part of the reason I'm surprised is that so many people have told me in the past that it's important in a large family to make sure all the kids have time alone with their parents, one-on-one (or two-on-one), which is usually what makes me feel guilty (I always think I should spend more one-on-one time with the kids). Dh specifically does a one-on-one deal with each of the kids for his/her birthday because he, especially, rarely gets time alone. It might be a day at an art museum for dd20, or the train show for ds9.

However, we ALWAYS celebrate birthdays with all the kids (assuming they're all home, which will change as the girls are further away). We give gifts, make the honoree's favorite meal, sing happy birthday, etc...

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-06-2009
Tue, 05-24-2011 - 1:00pm
I don't agree with holding back anything between our boys.
honest feelings /talking about one to another only has helped our family.
we all hit speed bumps / run through puddles on the paths of our life.

would be strange to hear one of my two request a birthday wish that excluded family members.
your youngest is adding to your oldest feelings of inadequacies Isn't she?
i 'd feel like I would add to this distorting view by granting the wish.
one of my biggest regrets was not having my youngest accompany us to his brother's college student of the year ceremony... and that was because the youngest missed meeting all the nominees/role models of good living...
opportunities he could make for himself with the same attitude for helping others...putting others needs before his own.
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-05-2005
Sat, 05-07-2011 - 6:31pm

We try to be supportive and encouraging of Justin but I'll admit there are times when I just worry about his ability to make it through life on his own... I have found myself 'venting' to the one son about the other in the past and I need to not do that.

I'm in the same boat (encouraging, but worried). And I also have to really watch myself - it's hard too, because dd18 has been forced to help so many times and be a third adult - at times when dh or I or both of us were dealing with dd20, sometimes at the hospital, and dd18 was being another parent to her siblings... or when dd20 decided to call dd18 instead of us to say she had dropped out of school. Dd18 gets drawn into things but I am trying REALLY hard to not do that, and to not talk to her about it. Dh and I both agreed to help monitor each other and give the other parent a warning if they're starting to complain publicly or make comparisons..

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-05-2005
Sat, 05-07-2011 - 6:27pm

Why not take dd20 with you?

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

Why not take dd20 with you?

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

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