siblings without rivalry – quote – never compare

Everyone seemed to agree that by making comparisons we definitely “heated up” the rivalry

“Be my kids,” I said, “and give me your visceral reaction to these statements: “‘Lisa has such beautiful table manners. You’d never catch her eating with her fingers.’ “‘How could you leave your report until the last minute? Your brother always gets his work done ahead of time.’ “‘Why don’t you keep yourself the way Gary does? He always looks so neat—short hair, shirt tucked in. It’s a pleasure to look at him.’” The feedback was immediate: “I’m gonna push Gary in the mud.” “I hate his guts.” “You like everybody more than me.” “I can’t do anything right.” “You don’t love me for me.” “I’ll never be what you want me to be, so why try?” “If I can’t be best at being best, I’ll be best at being worst.”

‘Never compare yourself to others. You’ll become either vain or bitter.’

Studies of people in schools and business settings show that when competition becomes intense, people tend to develop physical symptoms: headaches, stomachaches, backaches. And emotional symptoms. They become more anxious, more suspicious, more hostile. Let our homes be a haven from this kind of stress.”

“Children often experience praise of a brother or sister as a put-down of themselves. They automatically translate, ‘Your brother is so considerate’ into ‘Mom thinks I’m not.’ It’s a good idea to save our enthusiastic comments for the ear of the deserving child.”


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