DEAR SOMEONE ELSE’S MOM: My younger sister and I had our first babies within weeks of each other. The boys have been more like brothers than cousins, so there is no problem there, despite their having very different personalities. My nephew is smart, popular, and athletic. My son is also smart, but in a nerdy, quieter way, not at all into sports, and has only a couple of good friends, unlike my popular nephew. Both boys seem comfortable in their own skins and have done well in their first year of high school.
Now that the school year is over, though, I am looking forward to fewer postings by my sister about how incredible and superior her son is. She posts nearly every day. I almost never do, and when I do, it’s almost never about my kids’ achievements.
It also seems the timing of her posts just happen to coincide with my telling her something my son or his younger brother did that made me proud. I tell her, and within minutes of our talking or texting, there’s a new post about her son’s latest success, or that her fifth-grader just won some prize or other, or was singled out in class for some awesome accomplishment.
I never say anything to my sister, but I truly believe she feels some need to compete her kids against mine, and I just think that is so immature. Don’t you? --- STOP BRAGGING
DEAR STOP BRAGGING: I’m not sure it’s as much a display of immaturity as one of playing into the trend of selective social media sharing that makes it seem like some people are living in a perfect world, filled with only joyous events.
While there may be an element of an extension of sibling rivalry, it’s also possible this is just one of the things your sister does to help her feel good about herself and the job she’s doing as a parent.
Let her do her thing, and you do yours on social media and in the real world. It seems clear that just as your sons are very different people, so are you and your younger sister.