Galactic Hot Dogs
 
Home > Mom's Life > Family Relationships > Sibling Relationships > Sibling Rivalry in Grown Children
|

Expert Iconexpert advice MORE

Sibling Rivalry in Grown Children

Toddler and Teenager Expert Advice from Carleton Kendrick, Ed.M., LCSW

Q: I have a 19-year-old son and an 18-year-old daughter. Each thinks we love the other one more.

A: This sibling rivalry and jealousy probably has a considerable history in your family. One of the brothers in the Smothers Brothers comedy team used to always whine, "Mom always loved you best." If your two, at these ages, are still making you two feel guilty about loving the other one more, all of you have been dancing habitually to a rhythm no one seems able to or wanting to stop.

How are you supposed to prove a negative, "No son, we don't love your sister more." I would say that you two should call a family meeting, set the ground rules that everyone will get a chance to talk uninterrupted for a specified time, all comments and sentences will begin with "I", no "You always..." statements are allowed. The goal of the family meeting will be to discover how they can feel cared about in a way they need- remove the loving the other one more construct- that's tired, old and unproductive. What does each one of them need individually to feel they are cherished, appreciated, supported, etc.? Then you have to decide whether their requests of you are legitimate and whether or not you can give them what they need. Don't be bullied or emotionally blackmailed and triangulated by both of them in their attempts to one up the other. This will be an honest and courageous step in ending this long-running complaint. Good luck!

More on: Expert Advice

Carleton Kendrick has been in private practice as a family therapist and has worked as a consultant for more than 20 years. He has conducted parenting seminars on topics ranging from how to discipline toddlers to how to stay connected with teenagers. Kendrick has appeared as an expert on national broadcast media such as CBS, Fox Television Network, Cable News Network, CNBC, PBS, and National Public Radio. In addition, he's been quoted in the New York Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Boston Globe, USA Today, Reader's Digest, BusinessWeek, Good Housekeeping, Woman's Day, and many other publications.


Please note: This "Expert Advice" area of FamilyEducation.com should be used for general information purposes only. Advice given here is not intended to provide a basis for action in particular circumstances without consideration by a competent professional. Before using this Expert Advice area, please review our General and Medical Disclaimers.

highlights

Top 10 Sweet 16 Birthday Gifts
Your daughter's sweet 16 is a big milestone in her life. Celebrate this special occasion with one of these top gifts for girls turning 16.

Find Today's Newest & Best Children's Books!
Looking for newly released books for your child? Try our new Book Finder tool to search for new books by age, type, and theme, brought to you by Galactic Hot Dogs.

Printable Lists of the Top 100 Baby Names
Need help with baby name ideas? Use our printable list of the top 100 girl names and top 100 boy names of 2015 to help you brainstorm and narrow down your favorites.

Registered for Kindergarten — Now What?
Wondering what to do now that you've signed your child up for kindergarten? Try our award-winning Kindergarten Readiness app! This easy-to-use checklist comes with games and activities to help your child build essential skills for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Facebook icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks