Sibling Standards

Taylor Rose, Staff Writer

If you have a sibling, you know the feeling of people always comparing you to them. It could be from academics, sports, or even your attitude. I can’t assume all kids have been compared to their siblings, but I’m sure at one point in your life you’ve been compared to someone or something. From personal experience, it’s always been my sisters, but that’s not always a bad thing. It could be more aimed towards a compliment than it is differentiation. For example, “You are so funny just like your sister.” Getting compliments isn’t always the case when someone might tell you, “You should be doing this like your sisters”.  It’s not always the best feeling knowing that you may not be as good at something like someone else.


In a way, it’s like having set standards already that if you don’t meet you get constructive criticism. The bar has already been set by someone else, and you maybe not quite meeting it isn’t right. Everyone should be able to set their own bar and goals for themselves. It’s good to have someone help give you a push in the right direction, but sometimes you gotta take that next step not only by yourself but for yourself. 


One reason parents compare their kids is with the intent it will motivate them to do better. It’s coming from the heart, but can be presented or come off the wrong way. It’s not necessarily a bad thing; however, all kids are different in attitude to athletic ability. What some parents don’t think about is that comparing it can damage their kid’s self-esteem, and parent-child relationship, and even lower their academic performance. Have you ever done something, and you’re doing it the best you can? Maybe you’re even proud of yourself for it, and then someone says something along the lines of ‘this person did it better’ or ‘you did alright’. It brings down your confidence and self-esteem, and I’m sure almost everyone can admit it’s a bit rough to hear that.

Another reason parents compare their children is simply that they want to help their kids out. It can be in the form of advice too. For instance, maybe they’ll tell a story relating to a situation happening in their child’s life. ‘Remember when ___ had a bad day at school and instead of coming home and talking with an attitude they talked to us and didn’t roll their eyes’. It’s constructive criticism, but it also has an extent. If you’re always using constructive criticism, it can turn into plain criticism. ‘Maybe you shouldn’t talk with such an attitude’. It’s happened to everyone where you can be talking, using your normal voice, and having someone tell you to watch your tone.

Everyone’s different, so I decided to ask a few different people what they thought about being compared to their sibling(s). I first asked sophomore Mycah Freeman, and she said, “ I feel like sometimes it puts me down. I can’t be my own person, and I have to reach the expectations they set. It’s almost as if I can’t be different, and I have to be the exact same as they are. It’s normally meant to be “good”, but in the end, it is a very negative feeling”. Like Mycah said, most of the time it’s meant to be used in a good way, but it also comes off negative as well. It’s all determined by the context of it, and how it’s presented and given out. 

I next asked Charlie Reese, and she says, “Honestly, most of the time I take being compared as constructive criticism. I know that 90% of the time it comes from the heart in more of a good way than bad. It’s a way to help create and form the best version of myself. Sometimes it does get difficult when it comes across as just general criticism, but it guides me in the right direction. By finding ways I can mature or improve in a certain area or way”. 

I guess it depends on who you ask because everyone’s different and can take comparisons differently. It’s what makes us human, and why no one’s perfect. We need constructive criticism in our life; otherwise, we wouldn’t learn right from wrong. I think it’s all part of the learning process, but it depends on the way someone is.