The Highs and Lows of Sibling Rivalry

October 19, 2014

in Boys will be Boys, Family, Home Life

iphone Sandi 049This High School thing…I don’t want to say we were dreading it the second time around but our oldest made it hard to have hope in the situation. The four years we spent confined to that campus felt like a prison sentence. Nothing was easy. From grades to carpool he fought us every step of the way. We knew it would be tough because that kid hadn’t made school easy since day one. I can remember sitting in the classroom with his second grade teacher and her telling me “you are in for a long haul with this kid.” Her words were very prophetic as the years passed. The struggle would have been much easier to take had he not been capable of so much more. He didn’t struggle because he couldn’t do it, he struggled because he wanted to struggle. He has always been the type of person that is going to take the long hard road to any destination. As a young independent adult, he still does it. I’m not going to lie, it’s super frustrating. The obvious answer seems SO obvious but he will always make his own road of trials and tribulations. I have to give him credit though, in his adult life he takes more responsibility for himself than he ever has. If he is going to make his life difficult at least he owns it. It is small consolation prize for two parents who see his potential and wish for more for their child.

Then there is the youngest. He entered high school with gusto and has continued to enjoy and make every moment of it his own. I don’t want you to think it has been a rosy road, I mean, he IS a teenage boy and there are bound to be frustrations along the way. But he is in his second year and pretty much loving every minute of it and we couldn’t be happier for him. He has a great and supportive peer group of friends that push each other athletically and academically. He is involved and has consistently stellar grades (so far…he has a long way to go.) We really couldn’t be more proud.

iphone Sandi 015We told both boys that these four years are the time of your life and that you will look back at with your fondest memories and biggest time in your life for personal growth. We told them that nothing in high school is handed to you. We told them that opportunity is what you make of it. We told them that you never get a second chance at these four years so make them what you want them to be while you are there or you will look back at them with regret.

We meant every word of it.

But this is where things get interesting. Our oldest isn’t so much upset with how he decided to do high school, he’s upset with how well his brother is doing it.

I think it’d be easier if he would just say “man, I wish I would have experienced more and got better grades in high school.” Instead he gets jealous of what his brother has done. That makes it a little tough to manage. He’s always been that way, trying to get his brother to slide down to his level of accomplishments instead of supporting him in his successes. It creates a difficult dynamic. Back in the day our youngest was very much driven by what his brother had to say, he felt guilt and anxiety for out performing him. His brother, for his part, played that guilt to his advantage. Now Andrew has matured and he does things because he wants too, not because we make him. His grades are something he strives for and his swim is something he wants to do and be successful at. While that is great and we couldn’t be prouder, it has had a negative impact on his relationship with his brother. We try not to get involved as they are both growing in to the young men that they are and we have never expected them to have any relationship with each other or their sister than what they want to have and are willing to work for. It’s such a happy time for Andrew, and we couldn’t be prouder for him but yet it’s tinged with sadness over the slipping of their brotherhood.

Andrew has had an amazing milestone couple of weeks. He got his braces off, went to his Sophomore Homecoming, got his hard earned letterman’s jacket and he bought a car (oaky, we bought half of it. We had an agreement with boy boys that we would match them dollar for dollar when they decided they wanted to buy a car. He got a 99′ Chevy Blazer and it suits him to a T!) Just based on prior experience, we were somewhat dreading these years but High School has been a fun ride with this kid, we can’t wait to see where the road takes him!

1 Karen October 19, 2014 at 11:59 am

Nice write up!

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