I grew up being the eldest but instead of having Ate perks, my mom ALWAYS told me to give way & give in to my sibling because I was older. I deeply resented that and it instilled in my heart & mind that he was the favored one. That resentment carried on to our adult lives & now we are merely civil to each other. No sibling closeness exists, instead sibling rivalry took its place. Even our kids are not familiar with each other, and I deeply regret that it has come to this.
When I had kids of my own, I vowed they would be each other’s best friend. I taught them to respect their Ate & that in my absence, she was the leader. Not only did this bring order in the house, but Ate knew how to be responsible of her actions as well at an early age. And I am reaping the rewards now. She is an effective leader at home & even outside our home. She is confident & assured because she knows where she stands.
My 2 younger kids look up to their Ate, go to her for advice, and know their places in the family. They know Ate will always get first dibs on anything & everything simply because of her birthright. My youngest knows & accepts the fact that she is the last in the hierarchy. But it doesn’t mean she’s always kawawa or lugi. Because the 2 older ones know the privileges they have, they are always considerate to their youngest sibling. I believe in instilling respect & generating boundaries. My youngest always defer to her older siblings & call them Ate & Kuya. From the get go, she wasn’t allowed to call them by their first names. Ate, on the other hand, know that with her perks come responsibility for her 2 younger siblings so she does my mommy duties when I can’t.
Also, I am just generally blessed that I have such wonderful kids. They often go out without me to eat out or go to the mall. Just recently Ate took them school shopping & treated them out to dinner after. In cases that they are apart & they see something a sibling would like, they would buy pasalubong ranging from clothes to food.
Even with their allowance, they are not stingy to spend on one another down to the last centavo. They are generous to each other because they don’t lack in life. I am blessed to be able to provide for their wants & needs. So they are not selfish & materialistic. They share with each other & don’t fight over things like most siblings do. They also know to ASK first before borrowing. There must always be respect no matter the hierarchy. Ate & my Lovey share everything from clothes, to shoes, to shampoo. (They share their bathroom too & you know how crazy that gets for girls. But they make it work & there’s a good 5 years between them) But they know to ask each other first. And they give way if one wants to wear something that belongs to the other badly -yes even brand new clothing or accessory.
Also, even when they were young, I always played fair. If one of them buys something, I make my child choose 2 things to bring home for the siblings. It doesn’t have to be expensive things really, anything at all -even food, just so they know that they were in our thoughts. The same goes for Christmas & Birthdays. I take each with me on separate trips where they would buy a gift within their budget for their siblings. I also take them out on 1-on-1 dates so I can focus on them individually & make them feel special, not triplets. Gets? ;)
There was a time when my Lovey was younger, it was Ate & Kuya who were closer because they are only 3 years apart. But then my Lovey caught up, she is now a teen, and all 3 of them enjoy each other’s company immensely. I am not worried at parties or mixers where I have to mingle with other adults because they can very well entertain themselves & amuse each other while I’m busy. They have fun together.
Let me share with you one of our group messages. Their closeness really is one for the books & I hope they will always be this close & loving towards one another in their adult & married lives. I wish that theirs kids will love each other not just as cousins but siblings.
I don’t know if what I mentioned here helps. But I suggest you as a family have a general meeting & set some ground rules. It’s not too late. As long as they are under your roof, they follow YOUR rules. Treat it as you would a company & set a hierarchy. The first thing they should know is respect. Sometimes, it’s earned. Sometimes, it’s also a perk of the eldest. ;)
Love, Ms. Piggy
Dear readers, if there is anything you would like to add, feel free to do so on the comment section below. :)