|Sibling Rivalry: From The Mentors
From Jenna and Jordan:
Jenna: I'm two years older than Jordan, and I think we get along really well. When we do fight, it's about who had the computer first or what TV show we want to watch in the morning. We'll get very annoyed at one another, raise our voices, then walk away from the situation. Once we've argued, it doesn't get brought up again...at least for a day or two and then the same thing will happen! We're very different people, and therefore don't compete or get jealous of each other. Well, that's not totally true. Of course I get a little jealous that he is such a great athlete and gets a lot of attention for his difficult class load, but I never let those jealousies affect our relationship. I love him because he's my brother, he's a great kid, and I know we'll always be there for each other.
Jordan: In our earlier years, we tended to fight about petty things, like all young siblings do. As we grew older, we began to get along much better. We both have similar grades in school and we have different interests, so there isn't much to compete over. We actually help each other out a lot, with everything from school to friendships and so on. We talk to each other about personal issues that we can't talk about with anyone else. Sometimes I do get a little jealous of things she has, such as her car and driver's license, or her freedom that comes with being older. But I guess I'll have those soon, too! I love my sister and we get along great.
My sister is a year older than me and we've been sharing a room since I was 3 years old. We are really, really close - actually, a little too close -- and of course we fight ALL the time. It's never serious. The causes of our conflicts are so stupid that I can never recall...like sometimes it's just over a particular word I've used or maybe just because my sis gave my teddy bear a hug and I get all possessive or something. We don't really end up saying sorry to each other unless Mom makes us do that. We just pretend that nothing has happened, as if all the fights were just one of our games. Sometimes we start off fighting just for fun and as the tensions build we'll get really violent and really fight like it's for our lives or something. I'm always the fiercer one. I think it's perfectly okay for kids to fight with their siblings and now that I'm a teenager, I may even think that they're sweet memories! My approach is that if it's nothing serious, we don't tell our mom. Adults don't always understand how kids fight over minor things, and it's no fun ending up getting scolded together, right? Of course, you must tell your parents about it if it's getting unmanageable...like if your sib physically attacks you or something.
My sister and I (although far apart in age) tend to disagree over which activities to do. Or when we were younger, she would hit me and I would get into trouble. I also babysit my sister so that also creates authoritative conflicts as well. It becomes an argument of wills, or when one of us feels that the other one is ALWAYS getting her way. Sometimes the situation doesn't get resolved well, but most of the time we compromise. We'll do one outing that one of us wants to do and let the other one chose an activity later. Try to make your relationship with your siblings work. You only get to be kids once and regardless of how you feel about your sibs now, and you'll most likely value their friendship when you get older!
I used to have a horrible relationship with my younger sister. The first problem was our age difference, because I am 9 years older. It was hard to get to know her and spend time with her when our interests were so different. I was changing physically and emotionally, and my sister was watching RugRats on Nickelodeon. As she got older, our conflicts were mainly about the fact that my mother allowed her to do things that I couldnít do when I was her age. I always found myself saying, "When I was her age, you wouldnít let me do that!" When she graduated form the 5th grade, my sister got her nails done. I got my nails done for the first time when I was in the 11th grade!! See the difference?
The older she is, the easier it is for us to get along. Now that Iím about to hit 20 and she is 11, our conflicts are mostly that I donít spend enough time with her or that she borrows stuff without asking and without returning it properly. We resolve things by me apologizing and then coaxing her to tell me how she feels, and then me telling her why or why not I did something. Here's my advice to other "oldest siblings": Donít feel that you are too old or mature to apologize. Even though it feels funny at first, learn to humble yourself and apologize when youíve done something wrong or to hurt you little sister/brother. It's the best lesson you could teach them about being a good and honest person. Try to put yourself in their shoes and remember how you felt when you were their age.
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