Sibling Roles & Parental Neglect in the King’s Speech

In Oscar contender, The King’s Speech sibling torment, the role of the oldest and icy parental neglect, all line up in a brilliant film.
Vulnerable Prince Albert ( Bertie) is the second-born “spare” son of the gruff ruling monarch King George V and real life Ice Queen- Mary. The brutal royal family upbringing includes forced right-handedness, leg splints, and nothing more than a “daily viewing” with the royal parents.
In childhood, Bertie’s abusive Victorian parents have allowed their oldest, favorite son and heir ,King- to- be Edward VIII ( David) , to torment younger son Bertie into a lifelong stammer. The literally entitled older brother David,, along with the royal parents, reduce the five year old, vulnerable , Bertie’s speech to permanent rubble .
Socially disabled by his stammer . Bertie cannot not get through a sentence without a staggering effort to subdue the syllables. Yet on the eve of WWII- dumped and tormented again by his brother, he must be King.
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, especially royals, can have central casting . 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.
What can parents so to avoid this brutal Victorian trap for their children?
Parent your children so that you are raise caring brothers and sisters in harmony.
Harmony is more than a sound. It is difficult to slug it out, bully, or emotionally batter a person whom you really care about. Caring for your brothers and sisters and being kind to them is the first lesson we give our children on how to be kind to the world. It is our initial experience being sensitive to the other children we play with. A mom’s or dad’s role is one of facilitating harmony among your kids. You are not here to make them act in accord but to create the conditions that result in a comfortable relationship among them. You can’t have power over every action taken by each sibling, but you can shape their relationships. Allow the oldest child to do things for the youngest without burdening him or her. Have one child teach another how to do something.
Don’t raise a poor brutalized “ Bertie”. But do see the King’s Speech for pointers on what to avoid.
To find out about lethal; sibling roles and how to avoid them, see my You Tube segment


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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