Sibling Perspective

Updated on August 11, 2012
T.N. asks from Saratoga Springs, NY
14 answers

My sibs (5 of us, eldest sister 55, me the youngest at 45) and I often discuss things that happened in our childhood. I find it fascinating to hear how dramatically different their recollection can be from my own. It's cool to piece things together with one memory picking up where the other left off.

I already see it happening with my own kids. We were talking about a trip to Disney when they were 3, 6, and 8. 8 was saying how scary the Lion King stage show was and how 3 cried loudly all the way through it. 3 does not remember the stage show but DOES remember how 6 threw up in my lap on the plane. 6 does not remember throwing up but DOES remember his father getting absolutely sunburnt to a crisp. They're 20, 18, 15 now.

Do you like to talk about childhood stuff with your family/siblings? Do you try to talk about stuff with YOUR kids to see how they remember a thing? Have you noticed how different their recollections can be?


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So What Happened?

There, how's THAT for focus, huh?! ;)

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answers from Detroit on

My kids are still little, but we will never forget when my oldest sister peed in a cup and told the middle one it was lemonade....
Middle one also called 911 on my dad while he was in the shower because he said she couldn't have oreos.
The list goes on and on Theresa, some even creepier than the next.

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answers from Minneapolis on

My siblings and I (ages 53, 52, 51, and 49) do this at every holiday gathering. It's great fun!

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answers from Denver on

That sounds like fun.

My sibling only ever wants to do this to complain - so I don't open these discussions on purpose, because I get annoyed. In some ways, she did have it tougher than me, but not in others, and she never quite grasped that our parents are just PEOPLE, and so yeh, they messed up - sometimes a little, sometimes a lot. You know, like people do. They weren't great - or terrible.

So...the conversations aren't fun and we're both nearly 50, so I think it's past time to stop bitching about how our problems are because of our parents, you know? ; )

My kids are still little (crazy, I know:), so I haven't noticed this. I'll have to try this (in the fun way you describe) with them!

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answers from Seattle on

Theresa, I should be banned from reading your posts. Every time I do, I'm like, OH GOD I JUST WANT TO HAVE MORE BABIES AND A BIG FAMILY!!

My children aren't old enough to hold different recollections. Besides, they sort of share a mind. I mean, they are very different, but they fit together like puzzle pieces, completing each other's sentences and memories (which usually synthesize fact with fantasy, like dragons and the such).

My sister and I had/have vastly different memories of our childhood. She is 5 1/2 years older than me and holds a very different perspective than I, both past and present.

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answers from Phoenix on

I don't have any siblings so I don't have anyone to argue the facts with! LOL!

Although, this happened with my now deceased uncle and my mom (they are siblings). He would talk about how bad they had it when they were young and how they didn't have food. My mom would be like, Uh, yes we did...In fact, my grandparents (their parents) owned a gas station that had an ice cream machine AND snack and soda machine in it that they had free access to. So they had UNLIMITED snacks! My mom and I would always be like, WTH is he talking about???!!! However, he was in the war so we chalked it up to that. =/

My own kids remeber different things too from trips, cracks me up. And they BOTH will insist on something that happened that *I* don't remember! LOL! =)

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answers from New Orleans on

I remember when I was a few years old and my parents took my brother(6 maybe) and myself to disney world. I remember certain things that i saw and told my mom years, years, later about what I saw. She look at me like "how the heck do you remember that?" "You were like 2 years old!!"

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answers from Washington DC on

The one thing we've talked about is how different a household can be between the oldest and the youngest. The oldest was the first born...catered to, got everything she wanted. She lived a little fairy tale life, but never seemed happy with it.

I'm the youngest. My mother delegated all my parenting to the older siblings...I never got anything new and finally got my own job just to buy new clothes. My mother and father were wrapped up with work by the time I was born...I got NO attention from them at all.

The oldest wonders what my problem is (i.e. not close to my mom), but she doesn't understand what different lives we had. It's very annoying to talk with her about it because she only sees how things were for her.

Yes, everyone has their own memories

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answers from Dallas on

My brother and I do this! He has the most amazing memory, but he remembers the most bizarre, minor details. I remember big picture kind of things, and a few details. My brother and I are very close, and have a great time laughing over our memories! He's almost 40, and I'm 42.

My kids are just now old enough to start doing this, and they have fun with it as well. They're 8 and 14, and the 14 year old obviously has more memories. It's fun to listen to them talk about what they remember about different things, especially things like holiday gatherings and such. :)

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answers from Lakeland on

My daughter has a long term memory like my own. She can remember so many things with a lot of detail and she will be 6 soon.

My older sister and I remember things a little differently from when we were kids. I did tell her that I will never forget when she and my older brother tried to put me in the dryer. She doesn’t remember it but my mother does, I was about 2.

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answers from Cleveland on

my hubbs family all have memories like elephants ( if that means good memories) they all tell stories and add pieces but they are the same story if you get me.

My family I swear we all have swiss cheese for memory. I have maybe 3 stories from my child hood that i remember. I will ask my mom stuff like when i first started walking, what my fav toy was at 8, when i started my period. neither one of us remembers any of it. Sis remembers some stuff but it's all horribly negative stuff that it seems she might have misinterpreted, like she had no toys at all only a rock to sleep with, and i had 20 life size stuffed teddy bears, so did not happen.

for my kids i try to do a good job of photographing things and video taping everyday stuff. I"m hoping that will help them have a "story" as they grow up.

I did start a journal when both were babies and wrote them a note everynight, but that stopped by age 2 when they tag teamed me and i just had my hands too full with dealing whith their enegry.

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answers from New York on

Hi Theresa,

Another two cents worth of recall for you. My 3 kids ALWAYS remember stuff differently from their mom...and I'm ALWAYS wrong! ;) One instance in particular I recall was that my youngest taught himself to read before he was 4, but he swears his sister taught him to read! Well, I was always there and that's not how I recall it. Too funny!

from the Pocono Mts. of PA

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answers from Chicago on

Everyone remembers when I picked the 200 year old flower next to the sign that said do not pick. :p

My kids will tell me things from when they are young but I am too lazy to piece together what they missed.

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answers from St. Louis on

I swear my Sis & I lived in 2 different worlds.

Alternate universes.

I remember everything & my sis remembers nothing. & there's only 2 years between us. :)

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answers from Houston on

My brother and I do this. He will say "remember when you broke my nose?" Ah, for the record, it wasn't broken!

Its funny how he puts slants on everything. I don't think we had the same parents as well. Apparently his parents were mean and horrible. We are 4 years apart. I'm 48 and he is 44.

My kids are 24 and 20. I hear some of the things they say and I don't know their parents either! I was a fantastic, loving, non violent mother! And I had perfect children all the time!!!

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