Sibling Rivalry

Erica Hamilton
I have a massive problem in my house.

If you have more than one kid, chances are you do too.

Sibling rivalry.

Sibling relationships are hard to navigate. One thing we are working hard on is just simply getting along.

I found a Dad in the same boat as me reading through Genesis.

His brothers saw that their father loved Joseph more than all of his brothers; so they hated him and could not (find it within themselves to) speak to him on friendly terms." Genesis 37:4 AMP

Sibling rivalry at its finest.

In the past decade of my life, I have raised my five children with a revolving door of 48 other kids. We have seen our fair share of sibling spats. There was a time when we wanted to pursue adoption, but we had a horrendous case of sibling rivalry so severe it stopped us from moving forward. My Momma heart couldn't handle the jealousy that simmered beneath the surface so intense that it bubbled into horrible relationships that made my daughter scribble down the words she just wanted to die.

Such sentiments sound like dramatics coming from a tween girl, but then again, reading through Genesis and the story of Joseph, we see sibling rivalry bringing murder into the conversation.

"And when they saw him from a distance, even before he came close to them, they plotted to kill him." Genesis 37:18 AMP
Now that a few years have passed from that tough season, I can read through the story of Joseph in Genesis 37 and see jealousy as the culprit of that horrible season in my own life. Joseph was the favored son, and he got a special coat that stirred up jealousy.

"Now Israel (Jacob) loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age; and he made him a (distinctive) multicolored tunic." Genesis 37:3 AMP

Daddy dearest loved Joseph more than all of his other sons. This coat was a visual reminder that made Joseph feel loved and cared for. Unfortunately, it also made his brothers feel lack.

In my house, foster kids tend to look at the bio kids and be jealous. They get to be with their real Mom and Dad and don't have to adjust to a whole new everything. They feel loss and trauma and hurt and lack.

My bio kids sometimes are jealous that foster kids get tons of special treats and attention from their visits, the foster agency, and all the people who shower gifts and special outings on them. They don't get a source of special treats and gifts just for them. Their only source is a Mom and Dad who are stuck firmly in "make sure everyone feels equally loved and wanted here" mode. They feel lack.

I can't stop my kids from feeling lack. Life is full of potholes and pits that dredge up all sorts of yuck. What I can do is look for ways to give my kids special coat moments. No seamstress skills necessary. Little moments of love and attention are all it takes to fight against the feeling of lack that dredge up jealousy.

Just the life hack I needed to help curb jealousy and kick sibling rivalry to the curb.

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