How to deal | Sibling Feuds

I don't have a sister. As you all know I'm an only child and it was not entirely a happy childhood. I was lonely for some of the time and the focus of my mom on me was worst than a micro lens. I always wished that I had someone to share my life with everyday.

In light of the recent events of the Barretto Feud, I got in touch with some close friends who have sisters and asked their thoughts on feuding with them. Of course, I won't disclose their real names.

But given the numerous incidents the Baretto sisters seem to have (along with other celebrity sisters), I thought I must have been better off.

Now, to shed light on the issue on how to deal with fighting with your sister or siblings in RL (meaning not on television), I asked my friends to share their thoughts and their advices. Here's what they got to say.

Gina, a 30 year old single mom lives with her parents and 2 younger siblings with her child, Marcus. Since she got pregnant in college, her relationship with her sister, Tina (27), has turned sour. Gina shared that their parents became a lot more strict with Tina since she got pregnant and that Tina blames her for that.

A study shows that because family members tend have defined roles, change in it can cause difficulties in the family. Family members not meeting their expectation can cause tension.

"I know I made a mistake when I was young. But I can't regret having Marcus. I know I'm not the Ate that I was suppose to be and because of that her life became a lot more complicated. I try to be more understanding. Hindi rin ako pwede magmalaki since I still live with my family and dependent on them."

In our society, it's normal for Filipino children to live with their parents. Especially for those fortunate to have good education and functional family. The rule is the eldest should be the one to help the parents raise the others. Gina's situation is the same. Her parents chose to keep her baby and help her out, while they try for Tina not to fall in the same situation.

When dealing with her sister, Gina said. "She's my sister no matter what. I'll always be her ate even if I feel na disappointed  siya sakin. She can't take that away from me."

Another interesting sibling relationship are the Kardashians. Known for catty
remarks with each other.
As for Ingrid, it's the opposite situation. A 26 year old media practitioner, she found herself straying away from her family's tradition. Youngest of the family, she was expected to follow in her parent's footsteps same as her elder sisters. "It just wasn't for me." She sigh. Growing up in a strict homeand chauffeured most her life, she chose a course that shocked her parents and siblings. Her lifestyle constantly questioned by her sisters. I asked her how did it affect her relationship and how she dealt with it.

"Sigawan of course and whenever we get together (lalo na I stay pa with ma and pa), talagang complicated. And since I'm not earning enough as I was suppose to, feeling nila pabigat ako sa bahay. I hate it, them, sometimes pero ganun eh. I hate how comfortable they are at saying nasty things about my life. Sila ung matanda pero dapat ako ung nakakaintindi. I'm not surprise Claudine is the way she is if she's always ganged up by her older sisters."

When they say we can't choose our family, that's true. And belonging to the same family doesn't always mean that you can always get along. With Ingrid's case, she has to constantly prove herself to her sisters and show that like them she is only pursuing what she wants.

Conflict usually arise in the family when one strays, makes a mistake that affects the family. Some of these are early pregnancy, drug abuse, criminal activities to as simple as maintaining family reputation. One does not have to have siblings to understand this.

Hannah is the proverbial bread winner of the family. "My life is like a Tagalog drama movie." she laughs. Since graduating college, Hannah has taken the role of the income generator for her and her family. Her constant conflict with her sibling? "Hindi porket ikaw kumikita irerespeto ka." Hannah said.

"Mahirap sitwasyon ko kasi ako kumikita, nagbabayad lahat, pero kapatid lang turing nila sakin. Kasi sila Daddy naman daw nagpaaral sakin so patas lang. The thing is none of my siblings feel that they should step up to the obligation and share them with me. Ang saya di ba?  Ung isa nagasawa agad, ung isa naman sa kanto lang palagi. At si Elaine eh parang di pa gagraduate next year."

She would often have shouting matches with her sister over money but her parents would always ask her to let it go and be more understanding. "Minsan ang sarap talaga silang layasan." She said but of course, I don't believe her knowing how much she loves her parents and her younger sister. Hannah barely copes with the situation that she would sometimes stay over at her boyfriend's house just to get away from her problems.

It seems that there is no silver lining for my dear good friends. It looks like nobody will be shocked once we hear of twitter wars with them.

But overall from my converstation with these girls, they tell me that despite the fact they can't choose their family, they are not going to ruin their siblings' lives and say bad things against them no matter what. When I asked what do they think of the Barreto sisters highly sensationalized feud, Gina said something that struck me. "Iba ung ung sabihin sa kapatid mo na baliw siya sa kaibigan mo, iba na ishare mo yun sa lahat. Kung ano tinapon mo sa kadugo, parang tinapon mo din sayo."

Another is from Hannah, "You always have to believe that this is just a passing phase. Magkakapatid kayo, nothing can change that. No matter how painful the situation gets, di na matatawaran pinagsamahan niyo."

"They mean well, I know. And like eveything in the family is, lahat to test lang." Ingrid concludes.

A family needs a hero, says Dr. Phil. There is nothing wrong with being the bigger person at situations like this (family feud). Sine you can't choose your family, you might as well find a way to live with them. You can't always be ran by your emotions, say bad things and expect them forgotten the next day.

In most of the articles I've read, precautions and prevention's are the best way to defeat sibling rivalry and feuds. Parents, although they already have too much on their plate, must still be able provide equal attention to their children and try not too choose sides.

Despite all these feuds I hear, I still don't think I'm better off as an only child. It would have been nice to share my life with a sibling. When my mom died, that was the time I wished I had a sister or a brother to share the pain with and someone who understands the loss I felt. But I'm not so lucky...

Like in everything else, feel the blessings of having a sibling. Someone who at the beginning have always been a confidant. Having a sister means you're never alone. You'll always have someone with you.

And before saying nasty things against her, think about how it would feel if it was said to you. You have the same blood coursing through your veins and what you say to her is like saying to yourself, too.. no matter how different you may be.

Again, I don't presume to be a professional when it comes to these things. What do you think of sibling fights? How do you deal with them?

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