Just yesterday, a client of mine was telling me about the rocky relationship she has with her sister and how she wishes things were different. I asked her for how long this has been going on, and she said ever since they were kids. I became even more curious to know what led to this. In her defense, she told me that their mom always compared her to her sister. “Why can’t you get a straight “A” like joy?” “Why can’t you dress like joy?” Joy is a made-up name; she does not exist. Most parents do this all the time without knowing the damage it causes between siblings. Your children are not the same and have their own unique characteristics. It’s your job as the parent to discover and nurture their different, unique characteristics, not to compare. If you are a parent and you find yourself using sentences like this.
“Why can’t you be like Sarah?” “She never questions what I say.”
“Ekene looks way prettier than you; you’re always frowning.”
“Through all of her school years, your sister had never embarrassed me as much as you’re doing. This is the fourth time your school principals have called me this year.
“Look at Titilope!” She always finishes her food without making a mess.
Saying things like this can only ruin their relationship. When you compare your children there’s always a loser and the child who’s constantly compared to their sibling will feel inadequate and resentful. Such things should be avoided to protect the delicate relationship between siblings and prevent any unnecessary conflict.
Therefore, nurture and celebrate your children’s individualism, and show them that you appreciate their unique qualities, even if they are not like their siblings!