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Eliminating sibling envy before it has a chance to develop.

(5 Posts)
Stre55ed Sun 03-Jul-11 20:21:45

I am blessed with two fab daughters - who are so alike in terms of personality and appearance.

DD1 has excelled at everything she has turned her hand to. She is 9 years old:
Has passed her Gold swimming awards
Has passed her Grade 3 ballet exam
Has passed her Grade 3 music exam
Has achieved straight level 4's on this term's year 4 school report.

DD2 has also done extremely well in her own right - and whilst we never ever compare the two of them in their earshot - DD2 does not complete things with the same degree of fluency. Note - while she is only 7 (Yr 2):
She too achieved straight level 3's in her KS1 assessments.
Has already passed her grade 1 music exam.
Swims and does ballet with competence if not the flair of her sister. So she is doing really really well - but has to work much harder to achieve these standards.

As parents we couldn't give a stuff which daughter is possibly "better" at this or that - as long as they are both happy... but starting to sense that DD2 is aware that she is not as good as big sis - and we don't want this brewing in terms of her thinking "I'm not as good as she is"

We probably haven't helped things in terms of them doing the same afterschool activities... and maybe there is something new we could get DD2 to experience and deliberately exclude DD1 from it smile but starting to get concerned about little lady feeling as though she's falling short (note we get DD1 to over-celebrate DD2's achievements - as we desperately don't want any sibling rivalry between them)

Anyone got any advice?

P.S. DD2 is teeny (as DD1 is) - on the 0.4%-ile on the growth charts - so if anyone has any idea of a sport/pastime that might appeal to a diddy-kid, that would be especially welcome (we all enjoy our sport incl DD2)

FourFish Sun 03-Jul-11 21:21:13

Read 'Sibings without Rivalry' its fab and will answer this!

My diddy 3 year old loves gymnastics

Primafacie Sun 03-Jul-11 21:32:41

Well done you for being aware of it as a potential issue and wanting to address it. I had similar issues with one of my sisters and we are now not on speaking terms. I am convinced my parents did not play it right and should have encouraged different abilities in childhood.

How about gymnastics, tap dancing, martial arts, diving, riding, tennis? Or maybe some art classes, singing?

I hope you won't mind my saying this, but be careful with the overcelebrating DD2's achievements. Children sense these things from a young age and they may both grow to resent it.

diggingintheribs Sun 03-Jul-11 21:38:35

Well from my experience as a younger sibling I would recommend a few things;

1) if younger begins to compare remind her that she is younger
2) no one follows the same trajectory but that doesn't mean they don't all reach the same point in the end
3) don't pigeonhole 'dd1 has a flair for ballet but you have a flair for music'. that just translates as DD1 is rubbish at music and DD2 is rubbish at ballet
4) don't overdo the praise for dd1 - GCSEs are more important than yr8 exams - but they're not for DD2
5) never compare - 'when dd1 was your age she got those grades too'
6) Encourage them to revel in each others success. Sometimes older kids can forget how important it was to them and so how important it is for their sibling.

I guess what i'm saying is - treat them as individuals

I know someone who sent their kids to different schools so there would be no comparison (now that is extreme!)

diggingintheribs Sun 03-Jul-11 21:40:33

sorry - re point 6 - younger siblings know when they are being patronised!

and let dd2 choose her activities - it is not about being good at it - it is about enjoying the activity

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