Sibling rivalry is so old a situation that it is one of the first stories related in Genesis, the first book of the Bible. Cain and Able were the two sons of Adam and Eve. In the story, Cain is a crop farmer and his younger brother, Abel, is a shepherd. According to the narrative, Cain, out of jealousy, eventually killed Abel.
On a lighter note, one of my favorite cartoons shows two very elderly men, one pushing another in a wheelchair. The men are arguing about which parent loved him more.
In a matter of speaking, all children have different parents because they see their parents through their own experiences, thoughts, and feelings. The conversation usually revolves around each of the children’s perceptions and, as indicated in the cartoon, can last a lifetime. What is not usually discussed, however, is the parent’s perceptions.
I personally know of siblings whose perceptions were obviously based upon the values of the parents—particularly the father. One sibling was very athletically talented. He performed in a superior manner in every sport in which he was engaged. The father was very proud, as any high school coach would be, to witness his son’s athletic prowess.
The second son turned out to be an outstanding story teller and became a very popular professional speaker. However, he demonstrated absolutely no athletic talent.
Whom did the father love more? Was it because of the nature of the child or the nature of the parent?