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Joseph and His Brothers, Understanding The Dynamics

When sibling rivalry becomes hatred.

The story of Joseph and his brothers in the Bible is rather the easiest to understand.  A man with children from diffrent relationships exalting the one or ones from the beloved wife and ignoring or denigrating those from the hated partner.

The child of the beloved wife grows with a sense of entitlement.  A sense of his own significance and oblivious to the fact that his attitude hurts his siblings.  It is normal for him to be pampered, to get the attention, and he assumes that this is how it is supposed to be.

The feelings of the neglected children are never taken into consideration, so when they respond it seems they are evil or wrong, when they are actually retaliating.   Their sense of self has been attacked, they must prove their exist. 

In the Bible, the eldest son, Ruben was the least angry, the least requiring of retribution.  As the first born he got lots of attention, he has a sense of self.  The subsequent children were biological processes, and although the first child for each of the handmaidens might have gotten more affection than the subsequent, those, like Judah felt great animosity. 

Joseph, who all his life was the center of the Universe didn’t see anything dangerous about telling his brothers his dreams.  After all, he was the beloved Joseph.  Everyone has to love and defer to him.  It must have been a terrific shock when he was thrown into the pit, when he, the spoiled Joseph was sold as a slave.

Many parents are, fortunately, conscious of not taking it out on the children.  Those who have numerous relationships and children from different partners have to make sure that they don’t betray too much favoritism to one and too much disgust to others.

Parents have to be careful not to create the child who believes everything is coming to them, that they are more special, for few are like Joseph, who can survive the ‘pit’ .

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