Like most parents, we don't enjoy the regular bickering between our two eldest children. They love each other and share a room but get under each other's skin. It's normal. Our eldest is competitive and he recognized a couple of years ago, when he was 6, that his younger brother is a natural athlete. We've worked hard to keep them from being in head to head competition because we just thought that was best.
After reading NurtureShock and Outliers, we decided that we really weren't accomplishing anything with our artificial attempt to insulate Benjamin from Taylor's athletic talents. We want Benjamin to enjoy sports regardless of his brother. And we want Taylor to have the opportunity to develop his talents as far as he can. This led us to decide that we would allow Taylor to join Benjamin at competitive soccer try-outs with the risk, however slight, that Taylor makes the team and Benjamin does not.
The risk is slight because over 70 boys try out for 36 under-8 spots. So, the odds are against either boy making it. These are the best 8 year olds in town - Taylor is two years younger. And Benjamin is a solid and aggressive player - but not a gifted ball handler. So, we'll see where it goes. Realistically, we're going to face this problem again and again. So far, we're encouraging their different interests so that they aren't directly competitive - but we ski together and soccer is the fall sport for now. How do you manage sibling competition without someone feeling bad about themselves?