Feel like your parents favour your sibling over you?
Well, sibling rivalry is all kinds of normal. It’s been backed by science as a totally standard and quite healthy part of growing up. And there’s an unspoken rule that our folks are there to be the unbiased cheerleaders of our lives and keep the sib-riv on kinda friendly terms, right? But it doesn’t always happen. Some ’rents, no matter how hotly they deny it, seem to outright play favourites. They shower one of us with all the glory while they nit-pick the other.
All good if you are the Golden Child that week/month/year/decade but what if you’re the one playing the bit-part in the movie that is your family life? Well, in short, it kinda sucks. But it’s not always as black and white as it seems. We’ve put together a list of the four most common problems and how to handle them...
DOUBLE STANDARD RULES
Ewww, it’s super annoying when a younger sib is allowed to do something that was strictly off-limits to you at that age. In an ideal world, parents would treat us all equally but we’re guessing that’s not going to happen anytime soon. Here’s a little insight. Our folks legit have no clue about parenting when they welcome their first child. They just get super weird and protective and hand out eight million rules. Then the next kid comes along and they’re super chill because they think they’ve got this! Now, it’s annoying but it’s important to remember your sib didn’t make the rules so unite rather than take it out on each other. And instead of having a screaming match with the ’rents, take a chilled approach and try to negotiate a middle ground.
THEY HATE EVERYTHING I DO
From the way you walk to your daily wardrobe choices, it feels like your parents dislike every life decision you make and they are oh-so vocal about it. That’s even harder when your sib is hailed like they’re a visiting royal, rather than a RL member of the house. Now, our advice here is this: Your parents have an idea of what they would like you to be but really, you are an incredible individual and it’s important to stay true to you. In time, they will get used to it. And one day, when that incredible individuality pays off, like your quirky style is transformed into a career in fashion, you can be smug that your idea of you was the best. And remember, they really do love you, despite how it might come across. They freaking made you, after all.
THEY NEVER CELEBRATE ME
This is one of the trickiest to tackle. It feels like at Christmas, you get way fewer presents, right? And at birthdays, you get a crappy store-bought cake while your sister gets one helicoptered in by Ariana Grande that was created by an award-winning chef in Paris. Bit dramatic, but you get what we’re saying. Once again, parents should treat us all equally. But the reason they don’t, especially in this case, is often less about favouritism. In fact, when a ’rent sees one of their kids struggling – maybe with school or friendships – their need to protect goes into overdrive. Yeah, it sucks for you but try to consider it like this: they think you are killing it at life RN so try not to sweat the small details. And, actually, a store-bought cake is still delish.
HOLD UP! THEY ADMITTED IT!
What if your parents come out and admit they have a favourite and, worst of all, it isn’t you? Yep, that’s what we call a Kris Jenner situation. The reality TV matriarch admits she rotates her favourites. It’s believed to be down to who is earning the most, with Kylie usually coming out on top. But it’s mostly a parenting tactic to motivate you to do something. Like, work harder at school like your bro, or do some extra sport like your sis. And guess what? You probably do it to your ’rents also. Ever played favourites when you know Dad is most likely to buckle? Doesn’t mean you love either of them less, right? So, the best way to take the sting out of the words is to tell them how you feel. Best part? They’ll be so shocked you’re adulting them on conversation. Winner!