Why do siblings respond differently to a dysfunctional home?
While dysfunctional homes cause many similar effects for children, not all respond/react the same way to those effects. My experience has led me to identify four main kinds of reactions to dysfunctional homes.
Although children from a troubled upbringing will likely identify with elements from each, it’s not uncommon for them to display one in a more emphasized way. Differences in a child’s personality and temperament usually play a role in shaping his or her reaction to a painful upbringing.
Let me introduce you to the four kinds of children in relation to differences in reaction. The additional description (or nickname) in brackets would be from the dysfunctional parent’s perspective.
1. The angry rebel (aka “our black sheep”)
2. The peacemaking mediator (aka “our good girl”)
3. The fleeing perfectionist (aka “our trophy”)
4. The depressed defeatist (aka “our emotional one”)
Let’s look closely at these four reactions and consider the potential long-term effects of each.
See chapter 9 of my book. Purchase a copy here