The deceit they come up with can be enormous! They can go from smiling in their children's faces to threatening to take money and assets away over minor offenses. These parents have been described as narcissistic, bi-polar, borderline, etc. Whatever the label for them, you know that you are a victim if you can relate.
Now sibling rivalries show up in ways that look like they are just about sibling issues, but what some don't realize is that when dealing with devious parents they are often conjured up as a result of what a parent said or did. Think back to a time when a parent told you something your brother or sister said and how you reacted to the news. Most likely, the parent shared the story in the hopes that there would be a negative response; therefore, he or she has someone on his or her side.
One of the worst things that a sibling could do to another sibling is side with the parent over something that has little or nothing to do with them! What benefit does one gain by going along just to get along with a parent? Possibly a gift or two, an appearance at an event, a money loan, a mention in a will, temporary acceptance, a compliment, and more from a deceitful and possibly unloving parent. He or she might even go so far as to ask a son or daughter to lie, exaggerate, or come up with a story that goes against the child's brother or sister. Why would a brother or sister be willing? Because most likely he or she has a wish to be in mom or dad's good graces. This person might be desperate for mom and dad's attention and approval. If mom or dad's request is accepted and done properly by the son or daughter, the parent might reward his or her obedient slave. The golden child like the scapegoat becomes a slave over time. He or she is expected to do for the parent, because the individual accepted that parent's gifts in the past. On the other hand, the scapegoat, rebellious or discerning son or daughter who speaks up and sees the parental foolishness is not well-received or liked and talked about badly for not meeting the parent's needs.
When siblings stop arguing, holding grudges against one another and start comparing notes, they will see many instances where mentally ill mom (or dad) was in fact pitting them against one another. He or she played guilt trips, demanded things, threatened, used, and abused to make his or her children respond. Sometimes these parents will act very sweetly, behave in ways that deceive sons, daughters and others into thinking that they are "good" people, changed their ways, kind, and reputable. However, the reality is that nothing has improved with a parent who has been deceitful for decades!
There are many sons and daughters who are blinded to the psychological games of devious moms and dads everywhere! They can't fathom dear mom or poor dad coming up with ways to get his sons or daughters to "do as I say, but not as I do." So they fall in their traps while hating a brother or sister who was treated as that "troubled one...problem child...never respected mom...hated dad."
These same parents don't hesitate to use whatever tools necessary to make them appear as if they are good. From church attendance to handing out money during holidays, as long as their reputation looks good in their eyes, then everyone else should take notice. They will seek the attention from their children and remind them to offer up praise, because "Well, the Bible says to honor me..." says the self-righteous parents.
Nicholl McGuire author of Know Your Enemy: The Christian's Critic.