Sibling relationships are unfathomably complex. In the case of gifted children, this complexity is further amplified, as is quite natural with children with unsuspected resources and a sensitivity that is always surprising in its intensity.
Between a total complicity - each of the children remaining consistent with his situation - and a fierce rivalry, there is a whole range of behaviors that are not always predictable. The most pernicious would be the attitude of an older child who externalizes all his frustrations, his annoyances and his anger by directing them, barely transformed, towards a younger child. His undeniable superiority necessarily makes him an object of admiration for the youngest who desires, more than anything, to resemble him later and who does not know how to conceal his feelings.
She's a ready-made victim, especially since she doesn't know how to defend herself.
A victim whose only defense is tears, difficult to understand for an entourage who is not always sensitive to the slyly fierce side of the elder . The latter can also appear as a charming child, a little teasing sometimes perhaps, but his quick-wittedness makes him a child appreciated by the adults around him. We willingly forgive his pranks and forget their victim. It will then be considered that the youngest 'whisper' for nothing and that his overly sensitive nature makes him a weak, fragile child, too quickly injured by peccadilloes that would make better-armed children laugh.
In fact, this terrain is worked on for a long time by small spikes of innocuous appearance and by remarks of a banal appearance but which do not miss their target, already sensitized by its position too often experienced as irremediably 'inferior', which we remember to remind him. It's never very bad, moreover the parents, in a role of arbiter, do not see where the harm is, unless they themselves have experienced a similar situation: they then seize the situation without additional explanation, they detect the latent aggressiveness, sometimes cruel, just like the total distress of the victim who cannot defend himself. If the tragic aspect of this eternally renewed situation escapes them, they see only jokes without ulterior motives or even witty remarks about a child with a sickly susceptibility whose manifestations are so frequent that one ends up not giving them any more. to take care of.
We do not think that this tirelessly repeated situation can leave lasting traces. , further weakening a personality made more vulnerable by these continual attacks. Even if there are lulls, because the eldest is momentarily occupied elsewhere, the threat does not dissipate, he seizes, despite everything, the slightest opportunity favorable to a mockery of a humor and a lightness which forgive him.
The imprint is deep
This relationship is extremely harmful: when it seems to recur in adult life, the one who has been a victim again feels defenseless in the face of someone who would be bigger, stronger and more learned, he thinks himself deprived of means of defense and he can even imagine that the entourage will consider this situation normal and that it is he who is irremediably too weak.
The sex does not matter: whether it is two brothers, two sisters or a sister and a brother, the mode of relations is exactly the same with sometimes excessive reactions if the configuration of childhood is found. The situation becomes nightmarish if the two adult protagonists replay their childhood, the identification with the child they were is massive, total, without them even being aware of this perfect similarity. The damage can be considerable for the youngest, convinced in his heart of his inability to defend himself and also of the incomprehension of those around him in the face of the horror of this situation. Once again, he is alone to struggle against burst attacks that still hurt him deeply, since they affect wounds that have not yet healed. Added to this is the overwhelming feeling that the scene will repeat itself forever. : there will always be a sneering and superior elder who will stand in his way to remind him of his inevitable inferiority. We can clearly see the imperative need to be attentive to a situation with such serious consequences; they will later require work that the adult will have to do on himself to combat these traces, but, first, he will have to identify the remote causes of his discomfort.
He can be helped in this search by his elder himself, and in spite of himself: he finds on certain occasions his mocking and superior attitude, as if nothing had changed and that it was a question, concerning him , a right that cannot be questioned. In the case of two sisters, a rivalry over physical appearance can further aggravate the situation: the lag in development is sometimes more striking, the 'young girl' does not fail to recall her advantage over a younger still very flat.
All scenarios are possible, each with its own set of arrows adapted to the family configuration.
As for this elder so often superior, he can also keep harmful traces of his attitude and then appear ruthless, cruel even sometimes, while he will have thought to express only kind mockery without the slightest intention of being hurtful; its image risks being tarnished for a long time.