Siblings: We shouldn’t compare, but …

It’s so hard not to compare siblings when the evidence is all around. I’ve posted about Dylan here. Well, he has an older brother. Today, I got messages about my two boys:

  • From the dean at Dylan’s school, a request that I come pick him up from school. Turns out Dylan got bored (or perhaps overwhelmed?) in math class and started kicking off his shoes repeatedly. One landed on another student’s desk, one hit someone in the back. He wouldn’t stop, so they pulled him out of class. He’s suspended from school tomorrow. This is only the latest in a string of behaviors that are totally inappropriate at high school. The district has been talking about putting him into a special school.
  • An e-mail from an organizer for an event that my older son went to last week. According to her, he “has such a positive attitude, is very knowledgeable and personable.” He’s taking 3 AP classes and getting straight A’s while taking leadership roles in several extracurricular activities. He makes friends everywhere he goes. I should be proud and appreciate his accomplishments. I do, but it makes the contrast that much more painful.

Sometimes, I feel like holding my older son up as an example, to show that the younger one’s problems can’t be all our fault, because all our children aren’t like that. But that’s not fair. I wish I knew what to do to help Dylan.


  1. With my son, I make sure that he is 100% loved for who he is. I point out his gifts, not just his flaws. I am sure you do that for yours, too, and I want to remind you that kids really do know when their parents love them. You can’t make Dylan’s life perfect. If it wasn’t TS it would be something else. All you can do is model for him how to best advocate for himself and be the best Dylan he can be. We’re all human. We are not perfect. Even our non-TS kids have their issues. I attempt to see TS as one giant invitation to accept life on life’s terms, not the way we want it to be. It’s a struggle for me daily, but when I remember my job is to not fix my son, the pressure is off.

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