Dear Therapist: My mother always sides with my younger brother

Making sense of the world we inhabit

By Prateeksha Shetty

Published: Thu 10 Mar 2022, 10:26 PM

I’m the elder sibling and I feel my mom always sides with my sister. I’m older but I never receive love or respect, and even if my sister is wrong, I am always forced to be the bigger person and let it go. Sometimes I think that she likes her more than me. And that doesn’t feel nice. — Ayush S.

Dear Ayush, I can understand how distressing it must be to feel that your mother favours your sibling over you. We cannot know for sure though, that your mother really feels this way. It is quite possible that it is a cultural practice and that she honestly believes that the eldest child needs to be a role model to the younger ones, even when you are not at fault. While this practice is flawed, it does not come from a place of disinterest in your well-being and I am sure that your mother does not recognise how unfair it might be. Why not confide in her on how much it bothers you? She may be willing to change her ways or handle sibling conflicts in a healthier way. You can also reach out to your father who can support and guide you on this issue.

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