We all know living with a superstar sibling isn’t easy
PUBLISHED: 11:22 20 October 2017 | UPDATED: 11:39 20 October 2017
How can we avoid sibling rivalry when only one child seems to be the lucky one?, asks Jo Malone
Celebrate their differences and make each child feel they’re special simply for being them, say the experts.
We’re trying, but it’s been a particularly tough week for our youngest.
Thalia loves art and dancing and her guinea pigs and doing things her own way in her own time.
She’s not only following in the footsteps of golden girl number one who works hard and is one of those lucky ones who nearly always falls on her feet, but she’s behind Keola who is - so far - proof that hard work pays off.
Keola is one of those characters who focuses and works incredibly hard, and tries her absolute best whatever she’s doing. Thalia has a more dreamy approach to life.
So while Keola can, if we’re running late, get herself ready and have everything she needs for the day and after-school activities in about six minutes, however many times I say ‘please hurry up’ Thalia still needs 20 minutes to flatten her socks before she puts them on and doesn’t feel remembering her coat, bag, drink and snack is her responsibility.
We try not to compare them, we fail sometimes, but we do try. However sometimes circumstances highlight what can feel like sheer unfairness to Thalia.
For instance, both girls spent ages drawing pictures for a magazine art competition and were really proud of their entries.
Thalia handled her disappointment really well when a very exciting large package of winner’s prizes, certificate and a cup arrived last week for Keola and nothing at all arrived for her.
Then, a few days later Keola and her teammates had another phenomenal gym competition and as Keola’s arranging her medals and we’re feeling the proudest parents ever, again, we’re still trying to make sure Thalia doesn’t feel left out.
We point out that she does have dance awards, that it’s not just winning, that she’s good at all sorts of stuff and she is younger and everyone is brilliant at different things, and so on.
But then the art competition magazine arrives. Not only is Keola’s drawing very prominent but Thalia’s picture isn’t even shown among the montage of other entries.
My heart goes out to her. Her sister has even beaten her at art, one of the few things Thalia loves and feels she excels at.
Next time, we agree, only Thalia will enter a picture. I’m not convinced that’s brilliant parenting, but I can’t think what else to do.