Sibling rivalry is not uncommon in any of our households. I have a younger brother and there are times even now when we fight over stuff. Most of the time, these are just playful quarrels that are forgotten the next moment they are had.
However, sibling pressure isn’t as easy. It is much more serious. Be it the academic records or sports achievements or career or even sometimes, life partners are compared between the siblings. This pressure comes mostly from people outside the family. Sometimes, situations make such pressure happen.
When there are two children with differing age groups, handling this kind of pressure becomes a tad easy. But, when there are two children going through the same thing at the same time, handling this pressure becomes very difficult.
Both my daughter and son are learning to skate. My son has picked up the skill faster than the daughter. Now, after the kid gains a little bit of balance, the trainer skates are to be replaced with a better skates. After close to two months of skating, the skating instructor advised that my son is ready to move on to the next level while the daughter still needs time to graduate to the next level. Of course, the daughter has been pretty disappointed. Although she is a pretty easy-going child, I can sense the despair that she has within her.
This is the first time we are in such a situation. Normally, as twins they’ve been doing everything together. They’ve always gotten stuff together. Their milestones have more or less been attained together. They’ve been progressing at the same pace most of the time. So, when put in such a difficult situation, the pressure is more on the parents (particularly the mother!) to help them get through it. And generally, I believe in talking through such difficult situations and that’s exactly what I’ve been doing for the past few days too.
The daughter and me have never had such serious conversations earlier. I keep telling her how each of us are different. That, we should compete with our own selves than competing with others. What she is good at, he may not be and the vice versa. That, all of us special in our own way. But, the kid is just five years old. Even as adults, these lessons are difficult to assimilate; even more difficult is to practice what we preach. I am sure the daughter must’ve been overwhelmed by the moral science lessons that I’ve been giving her. But then, I am left with no other choice, am I?
To make it easier, I did give her an example. Thankfully for me, she is pretty good at her keyboard lessons. She easily grasps and remembers her notes much more better than the son. So, I told her how her brother might be good at skating while she is excelling with her music lessons. She kind of got what I was trying to say. She told me that she would try harder with her skating and move on to the next level as soon as she could. I just heaved a sigh of relief.
But you know, how mothers just can’t breathe easy. The next time, we were practicing our keyboard, the son plays a song, looks at me and asks, ‘Amma.. See how well I played my song. Why did you tell the other day to the sister that she’s better than me?’ There we go. I am still hunting for a logic to counter that. Sigh. This parenting gig can never get easy. Never!
Indu is a dreamer by nature; a (former) chartered accountant by profession; and a writer by passion. Her life right now, revolves around her four year old twin boy and girl. The two naughty siblings love to play their pranks on her every day, making her both smile and wince at once. She loves to leave a trail of her life at her blog.