Wednesday, March 4

Sibling Dynamics - gets me thinking...

Just watched an interesting show called 'Child of Our Time' it's quite similar to '7 up' series but this starts in 2000 and follows 25 children for 20 years. Tonight's episode focused on sibling dynamics and how the sibling relationship shapes who we are and teaches valuable lifeskill.The episode link is here if you're interested..

They had older/younger siblings but very interestingly had two sets of twins.. First set of twins were identicals, and one was much more dependent on his brother than the brother was. One twin found that his life revolved around his brother and when asked who he would want to comfort him when he was unwell, he said his brother. His brother said his Mum. Then they were asked who they would want to play with at lunchtime, the dependent brother said his brother and his brother said 'lots of friends'... and so it went on. They did separate them and it did seem to go well with the dependent brother coping without his brother but forming intense one-on-one friendships within his class. Interestingly when separated, the more independent twin did seek out his dependent brother at lunchtimes..

The other twin family was a bit of a Kalie-set-up but with a Liss-twist where there were boy-girl twins as the elder siblings with a younger brother born 18 months (that's the Liss twist) younger. They focused more on the relationship of the two boys and how the youngest was very competitive and attention-seeking to the point he was driven (and successful most of the time) to 'win' or 'beat' his older brother at everything. It was really sad as the elder brother didn't really even like his younger brother anymore The youngest had a harmonious relationship with the elder sister, but she seemed to side a bit with the younger brother (a bit unfair!) and it was a sad situation all around. The family moved to the country and the elder kids started school which gave the older brother the confidence he needed but also made him realise when separated from his younger brother - he actually missed him (although he didn't want to admit it to the brother) and similarly, the younger brother missed having his older brother on tap.

Interesting, shall watch the next in the series next week when they are investigating learning life's lessons and conscience building in 6 year olds..
Some anxiety started to build inside me when watching the family with the boy/girl twins and the younger sibling - as when I discovered that we were expecting twins, just 18 months after my first born Eloise I was overwrought with concern about how it was going to affect her. I am paranoid about her feeling left out and obviously when there's a majority of the family the same age/developmental cycle it does affect the family dynamic. I also worried about the attention that would be poured onto the whole novelty of twins when they were born etc which did happen especially in public but I did a lot of making a big deal out of Eloise being a big sister in response. Now I wonder if this overcompensating or if there is jealousy because Eloise is a vivacious, attention seeking individual... nothing to the levels of young William on tonight's show but there is something there... I don't know if it's age, personality or if it's the dynamic that manifesting itself in the personality.. does that make sense?

Mother guilt never ever ends. I'm doing my best, I know what I'm dealing with.. I wish I was a child psychologist!!

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1 lovely comments:

Nikki Cardigan on July 18, 2009 at 10:20 PM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

Even if you had all the answers Liss, there would be something for us to worry about!

I have twin sisters (and now my own twins!) and think it is great that you have considered the impact of the novelty of twins. It was definately something my non-twin sibling and I were aware of, but our parents did a great job of making us all feel important and special. It sounds like you are doing the same for Eloise, who is finding her place in your family and in her world!


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