Who Will Be The Favorite Child This Chistmas?

Cleopatra was her father’s favorite child.  As the royal pet , she killed at least two of her siblings and her father murdered another- to  triply insure her  destined  role as the beloved child and  Egypt’s most  storied ruler. In Stacy Schiff  spectacular new biography Cleopatra, A Life  http://www.amazon.com/Cleopatra-Life-Stacy-Schiff her sibling carnage is masterfully revealed.

Cleopatra was a genius at holiday events, arriving down the Nile in clouds of incense on slave powered, purple sailed royal barges . Will you feel like killing your sibling this holiday season because they still reign as the favorite ,as they walk in the door.

In many families’  there’s  a favorite child. It could be the youngest, oldest, or the kid with black hair and dimples who looked like Uncle Don. While the children are growing, they gripe, but they can do little to change things.

Family fabric can be bloodied , twisted and torn by having a favorite- just like Cleopatra’s murderous siege on  her siblings and  maybe leading to an “I Hate You” story. Is this new path to family feuds and sibling misery is the role you played in your family.

In any play or drama, there are always standard roles like a leading man, a heroine, a villain, and a minor character or two. Families can have central casting as well. Parents usually assign roles to family members. These roles include the oldest, who can be a bully or sometimes the child with the most responsibility. There is the classic role of the youngest, who is the baby and often the favorite. Because gender is often the elephant in the family living room, the boy can often be the most valued. The parents’ favored sibling could be the oldest, the smartest, most educated, or even the most challenged brother or sister.


Families have patterns, much like a piece of fabric. These threads are sometimes a map of the family genome. Roles can be a GPS to help us decipher these filial directions.


If your GPS tells you your family has been heading down a blood curdling road this Christmas ,think about forgiveness. Check out my  Mom Loves You Best You Tube series on Role and Siblings  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r-W7_tN9D-w and have a  non threatening holiday.



About momlovesyoubest

Cathy Cress holds an MSW in Aging from U.C. Berkeley. Her new book Mom Loves You Best, Forgiving and Forging Sibling Relationships , New Horizon Press, was published October 2010. Cress’s book , Handbook of Geriatric Care Management, Jones and Bartlett, is the bible of geriatric care management and is out out in a third edition in February 2011 .Her book Care Managers, Working With the Aging Family, Jones and Bartlett,2008 is one of the few major books on the aging family. Ms. Cress is the founder of GCM Consult ,working with small and national who want to add or launch GCM businesses. She is on the faculty at the University of Florida in their on line master’s in geriatric care management -GCM . She has taught geriatric care management at San Francisco State University , UC Berkeley and teaches at Cabrillo College and San Mateo College. She was founder and director of Cresscare, a GCM business, for 25 years.
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