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Thursday, October 22, 2015

Parents: Are You Turning Siblings Against One Another?

One or all sons and daughters just might not come for the holidays to see parents and grandparents, because they know how they truly feel about them. 

As a parent, stepparent or grandparent, don't minimize the truth, cast blame, invalidate feelings, or pretend that what your offspring tells you about "playing favorites," "you don't love me" and "I'm not good enough" is wrong.  You know how you sincerely feel inside, what you said to others about the son or daughter, and you know what you have done over the years to add to the issues that your emotional son or daughter now has.  Don't let yourself off the hook so easily.  Not every son or daughter will react to a demanding, ineffective, needy, or controlling parent like you think they ought.  One child might be totally open with a parent despite short-comings while the other not so much.  Just like you have your right to your feelings, they have theirs and attempting to control them only aggravates already intense situations.    

A parent who is angered for whatever reason at his or her son, daughter or step-children can be that way, but once the upset trickles into other people's lives, you have to take a step back and say, "What am I doing?"  Venting to the son or daughter's siblings is just not a good idea, ever.  A parent or grandparent will not always be on this planet, so because he or she is feeling hurt/disrespected/angry about one's child, this same parent seeks to destroy any healthy bond one's children may one day have with one another.  If you are a son or daughter reading this take heed to what a parent like this is up to and reach out to your siblings when you know full well they have done nothing wrong to you.

"Can you believe Jan did it again...didn't respond to my phone call?  I really can't stand your brother, I am leaving that ingrate nothing in my will!"  So Mom or Dad's rants continue, yet the sibling listening to the words spoken against his or her sister or brother feels awkward.  Parents don't take a moment to pause and ask themselves, "Why am I causing strife between my children?  What I'm doing is tearing down bridges not building them up?  Why do I badmouth like this?  I need to stop it and change the discussion." 

As much as a sibling might want to respond with, "Honestly Mom/Dad don't talk about my sister/brother like that!"  Nothing is said, because either he or she is jealous of the other, doesn't want to cause any trouble for his or herself, or fears the parent and what he or she might do if the sibling stand up for his brother or sister--something he or she was mostly likely taught just so long as the individual doesn't do it with parents so he cowers.  However, the ache within doesn't go away--there is empathy for one's sibling whether the least favorites choose to believe this or not.  The worry of being unfavorable in Mom or Dad's eyes took root from childhood and beyond, and so the trouble-free siblings try their best not to anger parents because they have already witnessed the consequences.

Some parents and grandparents like to feel like they are in control of children and grandchildren.  They expect respect, yet don't feel they need to respect others.  They believe they are always right even when they are wrong and will try to convince themselves and others of this by exaggerating events, lying, blaming, becoming emotional, and more to build a solid case against their least favorite children.  If you know someone who behaves like this, consider how he or she might behave with you if you should have a falling out with him or her.  The drama isn't isolated, in time it spreads to other relatives, family friends, etc. as well.  So the "favorites" enjoy their moments in the parental limelight before they too are mistreated or discarded for not following the rules. 

The matriarchs and patriarchs in the family may have their favorite people, but what they fail to realize is that one day they will die leaving a legacy of unnecessary issues while answering to an all-knowing, righteous Judge on the other side.

Nicholl McGuire shares spiritual insight on YouTube channel: nmenterprise7.

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