web analytics
November 23, 2014 / 1 Kislev, 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
IDC Herzliya Campus A Day on Campus

To mark IDC Herzliya’s 20th anniversary, we spent a day following Prof. Uriel Reichman, IDC’s founder and president, and Jonathan Davis, VP for External Relations, around its delightful campus.



Fairness Among Siblings

Respler-030113-Face

Dear Dr. Yael:

While my five siblings and I, a teenaged girl, get along well, my older teenage sister has a very strong personality. My mother, fearful that she will get angry, always tells me to give in to her during a dispute. I follow my mother’s wish, but don’t think it’s fair.

What bothers me most about this is that my mother was the younger daughter in her family and always had to give in to her older sister. That is why I am not sure why she insists I do it. Sometimes she tells me how upsetting it was for her to always have to give in, don’t you think that would make her more understanding of my plight?

Frustrated Teenager

Dear Frustrated Teenager:

There are a few psychological concepts that may be occurring in this situation. One is called repetition compulsion, whereby the person has a need to recreate a situation in her or his control that is similar to a situation that she or he experienced in their childhood. So let’s assume that your mother felt out of control and upset when she had to give in to her older sister. That may mean that she subconsciously has a need to recreate that situation now that she is in control. Therefore she reenacts the situation with you playing her former role, and asks you to give in to your sister.

Your mother may also be repeating her parents’ mistakes, something that unfortunately, many of us do when parenting our children. Adults know how often they say or do something that they promised themselves they would never say or do to their children, remembering how they suffered so much from the same behavior by their own parents. But when under stress, some parents suddenly say or do the same destructive thing that they vowed never to do. Your mother may be experiencing this as well.

Another psychological concept that this situation brings to mind is called transference, and although in strictly Freudian thinking it is the feelings we transfer from our parents onto other situations, your mother may be transferring her feelings of anger toward her parents by doing to you what they did to her. Transference is not something that is done on a conscious level; thus your mother would have no idea that this is what she is doing. Rather, your mother’s subconscious (the part of the mind that is below the level of conscious perception, namely activities of the mind of which we are not aware) may be directing her to act in this way. Once she is made aware of what she is doing, she may be able to realize that her anger could be playing a part in why she is allowing your sister to always have her way.Respler-030113-Mark

On a less substantive note, your mother may be so overwhelmed that it is simply easier to ask you to give in to your sister since she cannot deal with your sister’s wrath. It may be a coping mechanism for her since you are easygoing.

As far as you’re concerned, you need to discuss this issue with your mother in private when she is calm. Your mother is not doing your sister a favor, since your sister is not learning the art of giving in and being flexible in a relationship. In addition, your mother is building anger in your heart toward both your sister and her. While understanding the situation will hopefully make it easier for you to handle it, it is important to speak with your mother –respectfully – about what is bothering you. It is very possible that your mother may not even be aware of how this whole situation is negatively affecting you, causing you much private hurt.

Calmly explain to your mother that although you are sure that she doesn’t realize that you are in pain, you feel bad when she asks you to give in to your sister almost every time there is a disagreement. Describe your frustration level and tell her that although you are happy to sometimes give in, you feel that it would be fairer if your sister also gave in at times. This would be a fair compromise that everyone can live with.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Fairness Among Siblings”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
What, me incite terror? Abba: "The Jews must be barred by any means possible."
Ex-Senior Justice Official Asks Homeland Security to Ban Abbas from US
Latest Sections Stories
Kupfer-112114

Divorce from a vindictive, cruel spouse can be a lifelong nightmare when there are offspring.

Astaire-112114-Horse

There were many French Jews who jumped at the chance to shed their ancient identity and assimilate.

L to R: Sheldon Adelson, Shawn Evenhaim, Haim Saban

As Rabbi Shemtov stood on the stage and looked out at the attendees, he told them that “Rather than take photos with your cellphones, take a mental photo and keep this Shabbat in your mind and take it with you throughout your life.”

South-Florida-logo

Yeshiva v’Kollel Bais Moshe Chaim will be holding a grand celebration on the occasion of the institution’s 40th anniversary on Sunday evening, December 7. Alumni, students, friends and faculty of the yeshiva, also known as Talmudic University of Florida, will celebrate the achievement and vision of its founders and the spiritual guidance of its educational […]

The yeshiva night accommodates all levels of Jewish education.

Recently, Fort Lauderdale has been the focus of international news, and it has not been about the wonderful weather.

Rabbi Sacks held the position of chief rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth for 22 years until September 2013.

The event included a dvar Torah by student Pesach Bixon, an overview of courses, information about student life and a student panel that answered frequently asked questions from a student perspective.

It is difficult to write about such a holy person, for I fear I will not accurately portray his greatness…

“Grandpa,” I wondered, as the swing began to slow down, “why are there numbers on your arm?”

So the real question is, “How can we, as hosts, make sure our guest beds are comfortable?” Because your guests will never say anything.

It was a land of opportunity, a place where someone who wasn’t afraid of a little hard work, or the challenges of adapting to a different climate and culture, could prosper.

Rule #1: A wife should never accompany her husband to hang out with his buddies at a fantasy football draft. Unless beer and cigars are her thing, that is.

There are many people today with very little training who put out shingles and proclaim themselves to be marital coaches, shalom bayis helpers, advisers etc.

The two World Series combatants, the Kansas City Royals and the San Francisco Giants, were Wild Card teams (meaning they didn’t win their respective divisions) that got hot at the right time.

More Articles from Dr. Yael Respler
Respler-111414

There are many people today with very little training who put out shingles and proclaim themselves to be marital coaches, shalom bayis helpers, advisers etc.

Respler-110714

When one marries someone with children, all family members must accept them.

My mother-in-law is totally devoted to her daughters and their children. Her sons’ children on the other hand are treated like second-class citizens.

How can I help my wife learn to say “no,” and understand that her first priority must be her husband and family?

It is important for a therapist to focus on a person’s strengths as a way of overcoming his or her difficulties.

I went to camp for many years. We cleaned our own bunks and did not have air conditioning.

“I would really love my mother-in-law …if she weren’t my mother-in-law.”

Not enjoying saying no, I often succumbed to requests viewing them as demands I couldn’t refuse.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/family/marriage-relationships/fairness-among-siblings/2013/02/28/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: