Aug 29, 2019
I’ll never forget learning about Sibling Rivalry and Dethronement from Susie and how it opened my eyes to what was really happening at home. My wife, Stephanie, and I were very frustrated. We have 2 boys and at the time Bryce was two and could barely talk (but could shriek unusually well) and Calen was four and was still not used to splitting our attention. Calen was lashing out and hurting Bryce regularly. Bryce was always screaming “that scream” which meant he was hurt. Stephanie and I both immediately went to save Bryce and scold Calen as soon as we heard it.
But then I took my first parenting course from Susie Walton and learned that they were in a “dance” together to get our attention. I started watching much more closely and not jumping to conclusions. Sure enough, the next time Bryce screamed, Calen was on the other side of the room and had not even touched him! As if on cue, Mama came running into the room, angry at Calen and checking Bryce for bruises! Calen got mad at everyone– understandably since he had done nothing to instigate this. And although Bryce won the comfort he sought from Mom, it wasn’t a close connection, because she was too busy being angry at Calen to be close to anyone. Everyone took on their classic sibling rivalry roles perfectly. Even I, knowing the truth, got a little angry at Calen when Bryce screamed. Like Pavlov’s dog, I had been trained to have an automatic emotional reaction to Bryce’s scream.
Founder, PIYH and Parenting Instructor
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