As Brangelina break up, tips parents must use when breaking up...
The children of...
Let me help you pick your way through sibling minefields!
A recent report found the eldest child tends to be the smartest of their siblings. It's easy to picture how this translates into sibling rivalry - the elder teasing the younger about being "stupid". Or belittling younger siblings for their lack of knowledge or experience.
But sibling rivalry doesn't stop with issues of intelligence. Brothers and sisters can feel rivalry over their parents' attention, about who gets the best birthday presents, who “gets away” with more and receives lenient punishments - a claim my three older brothers made about me!
Previous research found that sibling rivalry, from mild to severe, occurs in the majority of families. From the Gallagher brothers of rock band Oasis to the talented sisters Julia and Nadia Sawalha (actresses and presenters) there been many rivalries between celebrity siblings.
No matter how hard parents try to treat their children equally, children's temperaments, needs and life events differ. And that means they get different treatment. How well siblings evaluate each other’s needs - and how they see their parents respond to these - affect levels of rivalry.
From personal experience I had one child with a serious, chronic illness who was in and out of hospital from age 18 months to 15 years. When not spending hours in the hospital I paid extra attention to my other child to ensure he didn't feel left out. However that attention could never match the days and nights spent in hospital visits. Obviously, he was very distressed when his sister nearly died on a number of occasions. But despite my best efforts, when she had periods of good health I noticed he had a certain rivalry towards her.
Sibling rivalry can be a nightmare in any family. Take my quick quiz to gauge your levels of sibling rivalry. Be honest no matter how guilty you feel about some of your answers!
1/ Do you begrudge your sibling the attention your parents give/gave them? Yes No
2 / Do you grudgingly congratulate your sister or brother for a job well done? Yes No
3/ Do you secretly seethe inside when something good happens to a sibling? Yes No
4/ If you’ve the chance to do something nice for a sibling or friend (like having an extra theatre ticket to give away) do you choose the friend? Yes No
5/ Do you have frequent rifts/rows with siblings that on hindsight seem unnecessary?
6/ When the chance arises do you criticise a sibling to your parents or to other siblings?
7/ Do you feel your parents had a favourite child? Yes No
8/ Do you think a sibling/s tries to monopolise your parents? Yes No
9/ Do you believe your sibling always got better presents or more money spent on them?
10/ Have you argued with your parents over getting worse treatment than your siblings?
1-2 Yes answers: Small Levels Sibling Rivalry!
On rare occasions you may have felt a sibling’s had preferential treatment. This is completely normal and nothing to cause concern. Do read the advice below for general tips on how to enhance what you’ve got.
3 to 5 Yes answers: Some Concerning Sibling Rivalry!
Your level of sibling rivalry should cause you some concern. There’s definitely room for improvement. Much of the advice below will help.
6-10 Yes answers: Serious Sibling Rivalry!
Oh dear, you probably have a volatile, love-hate relationship with your sibling/s. Worse yet, it maybe a hate-hate situation like ones I've come across in my coaching practise. Try these:
Solutions To Sibling Rivalry:
* Draw up a list of your sibling’s best characteristics. For example, can they be thoughtful, generous and listen to your problems? When feeling rivalry remind yourself of these important qualities to balance your negative feelings.
* What part do your personal successes and failures play in the ups-and-downs in your feelings of rivalry? Perhaps when you have a problem at work or with your partner, your sibling becomes an easy target to take it out on. Resist this!
* Be generous of spirit. When something good happens to your sibling lavish them with praise to show goodwill.
* Make a date to spend some time with your sibling on your own simply to enjoy each other's company.
* Explore your parents’ role in your feelings. If they've shown preferential treatment they might not even realise it. Raise it calmly with them and let them know you felt slighted. It's rare for a parent to show obvious favouritism. If unfortunate enough to have a parent like that remember it's not your sibling’s fault.
* If your sibling appears to cause rivalries or tries to do-you-down then choose a time when you can talk about it rationally. Begin by asking if they even realise that they’re making you feel this way. Suggest ways you can both improve your relationship.
* Finally, the easiest tip of all - treat your sibling the way you wish to be treated!
Published in The Express Newspaper
I’m excited that my new book ‘THE LAWS OF SISTERHOOD - The girlfriends’ guide to successful dating and finding the one’ is available to preorder on Amazon.
I hope you find it a unique guide that emphasises how single friends can help each other make the most of the dating scene. As well as containing a vast array of tips and techniques to help you to dating success - everything from the first date, online dating, the signals he gives out through different behaviours, and how to improve your own signals are included.
“Pam’s dating book is inspired and will make you a much more attractive and confident date” Jo Hemmings, Behavioural psychologist and author
My new book The Emotional Eater's Diet is published in the UK on May 15 - I’m very excited as I hope emotional eaters - women or men will find it helpful. Each year 2/3s of people start a diet and 20% start a new diet each month. Yet 95% of diets aren’t successful.
I firmly believe that emotional eating to soothe difficult feelings is the culprit behind most of this failure. My book has a huge range of practical tips/strategies to help understand your emotions and manage your appetite. There are mini-quizes and real case studies.
It’s available to preorder on Amazon. Please remember that food can fuel your energy needs but not your emotional needs. Take care!
I'm delighted that my latest book Sex Academy was endorsed by my fellow self-help author Siski Green who said: "Sex Academy really is THE Bible of sex books. The lessons and lectures cover the A-Z of everything you want to know - from Anal sex to getting Zero sex." I hope you enjoy it!
I was so excited and HAPPY to write this book on happiness covering my 10 unique Happiness Principles. I hope it helps increase your well-being, contentment, and happiness. I've packed it with dozens and dozens of easy-to-use strategies, plus life-changing insights. Based on about five years of collecting case studies and research I hope you'll find it helpful.
My latest sex guide's out - I've gone through thousands of questions people ask me about sex - from why they don't feel desire to how to handle a partner's kinky fetish. Here are the answers plus loads of tricks and techniques. Enjoy!
Discover the relationship between your dreams and your sex- and love-life! Go on a journey of self-discovery in this unique dream book. Case studies, a dream directory, and ‘dreamersises’ help you interpret your dreams.
My research found if a couple's been together more than one year it's unlikely you've tried any new sex tip, trick or technique for at least four months! Rescue's at hand with my 250 hottest sex tips for every aspect of your sex life.
No couple or single can be without this unique, best-selling book containing a vast range of techniques, tricks and tips to turn your lover on. From attracting someone new to recharging your old relationship, Fabulous, explores each of the sexual senses in turn!
No. 1 selling book offering you tons of fantastic sex tips PLUS a new and revolutionary ways of looking at sexual pleasure and ‘problems‘ and how they fit into a person's whole life and relationships.
No. 1 selling sex book covering everything from how your body works to infinite sex tips. The Daily Star said: 'Sinful Sex has something for everyone'
A unique parenting book giving you creative techniques to understand your child better through their dreams and nightmares. These reveal so much about a child that most parents miss out on. Strengthen your parent-child relationship, their confidence and well-being!