The ‘Other’ Child

Sibling post

Intentionally coaching our kids on how to get along with their siblings may be one of the biggest legacies we leave behind as a parent. Our youngsters are naturally prone to jealousy and pride when it comes to one another. At it’s worst, siblings can become belittling and demeaning regarding their brother’s/sister’s performance or accomplishment for no apparent reason. No apparent reason except that they are feeling jealous, insecure, or some other fleshly emotion. This is the root from which bullying and other negative behaviors can arise. Your kids may get along great, but I catch mine at times hanging their heads when their brother shines.

We’ve said it before and gone into great detail here, but it bears repeating. We have to teach our kids how to be their sibling’s biggest fan. This week’s example involves none other than deer hunting. One son was successful and will have his picture in the paper. The other? Well despite his best efforts, he might as well have spent the day back at the house. But as soon as we arrived back at the house, I immediately found my son who was NOT about to be showered with praise. The conversation was short, simple, and straightforward.

“Guess what? Your brother was successful! Isn’t that great! Go tell him how proud you are of him!”

“OK, daddy!”

Remember Proverbs 17:17 which reads, “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.” When I was a kid, I used to think this verse was the perfect description of my relationship with my little brother. I thought to myself, “God knows little brothers are annoying, and he was born for me to fight with!” Of course you and I know this verse is telling us that friends are great, but blood sticks together, especially in times of trouble. Thus, it’s incredibly important that we do what we can to ensure the sibling relationship has a firm foundation.

Intentional. Proactive. Positive.


Until next time…


About Jeffrey D. Potts, Ed.D.

Raised on a ranch in the Texas Hill Country, Jeff Potts, Ed.D., grew up learning the importance of hard work and family values. A graduate of Baylor University, he has master’s degrees from two universities and earned his Ed.D. in teaching and learning from a fourth institution. Potts launched his pedagogical career in the 1990s, working full-time with students and parents. READ MORE→