Doing Life Together

Think drama! NO, think mindless drama. Now who comes to mind?

The Kardashians of course. If there is a way to keep their names in the news, they find it. And so it goes with the latest “controversy.”

Apparently, 18- year- old Kendall Jenner banned sister Kim Kardashian from attending her fashion shows. And yes, this made headlines.


Maybe because younger sister is taking the spotlight away from older sister. Kim is the one used to getting all the attention. Now that her sister has taken New York and Paris Fashion week by storm, little sis is making a few demands. First, she dropped her famous last name and simply goes by Kendall. This act of independence is supposed to make us think she is separating a little from her family. Actually it would be normal for Kendall to vie for a little independence at this age,  but this could prove difficult given the enmeshed family dynamics.

Maybe because a little sibling rivalry is normal. When younger children are born, the older children feel the attention move from them to the new child. At different ages, they want different things. Kendall is emerging as a young adult. Her focus is different than Kim’s who is a mom and a thirty something. Conflict is  normal as they negotiate their adult relationship. The important thing is not to compare siblings to each other. Each is unique and trying to find her place in life. And each needs a little personal space. However, personal space for reality TV stars is not easy to come by.

Maybe because we need mindless entertainment to take our minds off the real problems our country faces. Let’s face it, this family is a distractor from more important issues in our culture.

Maybe because we can relate to a little sibling drama. Let’s stick with this idea and look at what really happens in most families when it comes to siblings.

According to an article from Psychology Today, about a third of adult  siblings say their relationships are rivalrous or distant. So when it comes to siblings then, the majority of them stick together, differences included.

We know that siblings are impacted by their mother’s interactions with their other siblings. So mama Kris, plays a role! Her actions and inactions influence Kendall’s relationship, especially when it comes to getting along with her older sisters. In this family, it appears the siblings are competing more with their mom than each other. And we know that sisters who are close come from families in which much emphasis is placed on close relationships. The Kardashians have made careers out of this closeness. The expectation seems to be, we are family and will stick together despite our conflicts. Family is what made us famous.

Related to expectations, Judy Dunn, who studies siblings in the US and England, adds that if siblings have the desire to get along, even when they  have different goals and interests, rivalry becomes cooperation. In other words, if a sibling values the relationship and wants it to work, she can find ways to make it cooperative.

And sister-in-laws or brother-in-laws can create tension among sibling relationships. Hmm….Kanye could certainly be a factor here. Let’s just say he can be difficult.

Most clinicians will tell you, siblings, in general get along and conflict certainly arises. Sure there are personality differences, more attention giving to one child over another at times, but in the end, getting along is the norm. So I wouldn’t make too much out of this latest headline of Kendall banning Kim. After all, the media loves to stir up controversy and the Kardashians love to be in the middle of it! It’s how they stay celebrities!

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