Lori loves the 4th of July with all of its loud noises and fireworks. She could hardly wait for the celebrations to begin this past Wednesday. She chattered on and on in excited anticipation. When dusk finally arrived, she was a whirlwind of activity. Her brother Sage, on the other hand, was nonchalant. He moved deliberately and cautiously. He enjoys this holiday as much as Lori, but prefers to savor the moment and not rush things. Lori’s incessant babbling and grabbing of sparklers, irritated him. The more she talked, the quieter Sage became. Finally, unable to stand another moment, he ran into the house and slammed the door. Lori stopped her chattering and stared at the front door. She was confused and overcome with disappointment. ‘The 4th of July won’t be the same without Sage!” she cried as she ran tearfully into her mother’s arms.
I’m sure you have realized by now that Sage and Lori bring very different energies to their family. Lori’s primary energy through which she experiences the world is “water.” She moves quickly and spontaneously through her daily activities and can do several things at once. She is expressive, a feeler and artistic. Sage is “earthy” by nature. Thoughtful and deliberate, he understands how critical planning is to any endeavor and takes his time in order to avoid mistakes. These children’s parents have their work cut out for them, as normal sibling rivalry will be compounded by the very different energies these children bring to the family.
Wise parents will help these children see the strength in their differences rather than focusing on the dissimilarities. Lori can benefit from the grounded and wise energy that her brother has to offer, just as he can profit from her effusive and flexible nature. Their parents may need to proactively intervene before conflicts and squabbles erupt. For example, Sage could be encouraged to take more of a leadership role in planning out the small family firework exhibition. He could select the order of the firework detonation and make sure all the necessary gear is on hand (i.e. bucket of water, lighter, garbage can). Lori can be encouraged to channel her creativity. Once the order of the firework detonation has been determined, she might arrange the various cannisters artistically in the driveway . Maybe she wants music to accompany the fiery display and can preselect songs and CDs. Lori might be in charge of discarding the fired cannisters into the bucket of water for she is quick and needs to keep busy. Maybe she can create invitations to share with neighbors or friends. As you can see, there are many ways that both children can participate. This will minimize the need for contention and competition, encouraging rather collaboration and celebration.