Is it Flight for Life or is it an annoyance large and loud object that stands over me like an annoying mosquito? We’ve heard of helicopter parents- but what about helicopter siblings?
Older siblings come in many forms. Sometimes it is a sibling from the traditional biological standpoint. Sometimes it is that fictive kin, that has been adopted and grafted into the family- you know “your brother from another mother” or “a sister from another mister.” No matter who holds the position, they take the title seriously. And part of the job of a sibling is to protect the other siblings.
However, when does that protection cross the lines to invasion of privacy. Are you a helper or just a snitch? Here are the clues- if you are truly a helper- you will already have an existing healthy relationship with the younger sibling. All your observations will not be concentrated on negative posts. In your conversations on negative posts: 1) offer help and alternatives, 2) explain past mistakes you made you are trying to help them prevent, 3) explain the longterm consequences from seemingly innocuous comments and pictures.
Remember, if your motives appear less than honorable this will create more of a wedge and resentment. Our natural reaction is to defend ourselves against attacks, whether it be physical or verbal. Be prepared to be labeled as a snitch, accused of being a hypocrite or jealous. And of course, expect backlash and retaliation on social media. This can come in the form of embarrassing retaliatory posts,unfriending, cold shoulder or plots for later revenge.
At the end of the day, siblings should help and protect each other, regardless of age or birth order. But if your help seems to bring more anger and pain- consider your ways and be willing to adjust. If your help does more harm, than it is counterproductive. It is a mercurial situation and we have to remember silence is the best method and just be there with a shoulder to lean (or cry on) and be there to help them to learn from their mistakes. Mistakes are often the most effective teacher in some cases.
Siblings are beautiful gifts. Our first friends. Let’s make sure we cultivate these relationships and our actions reflect our love, protection and respect for these individuals.
Blessings and Prayers