When parents fail to make decisions individually for their children, their children will go through their lives living in the shadow of their siblings.
Shadowing a sibling doesn’t happen through choice. It usually comes through a parents’ inability to let their children live independent lives. It’s an easy way for parents to parent. It becomes a one size fits all parenting strategy.
I’m not sure whether this is the nature of all families, but having done some research it seems to be attached to family scenarios. It becomes enormously difficult for children when all they want to do is live their own lives and they can’t because they have a sibling who is expected to shadow them.
For the sibling that shadows an elder sister or brother means it’s hard for that sibling too, because it’s not something that sibling will have asked for, or even wants. It doesn’t work for the sibling being shadowed or the sibling doing the shadowing.
It becomes a no win situation for both children, living identical lives. When parents continue to re-enforce sibling shadowing, it’s hard for those siblings to change things for themselves. I’m not sure whether it’s something that ever really changes and if it does, is it something that’s easily forgotten? I think not.
I believe it’s up to us as parents to parent without designing a sibling to substitute their role, no matter what the circumstances or scenario.