As I begin to ponder on sibling relationships, I cannot help but think about the talk I had with my children this morning. I was encouraging them to find ways to try and work together instead of against each other. My oldest children are two years apart in age, and they are also opposite genders. They continuously bump heads in disagreements, and I continuously have to referee or help them with their many, many debates. They truly do not yet understand the significance of having each other. This sounds very familiar as I remember my own childhood and how it was filled with times my sister and I constantly argued and fought with one another. It actually wasn’t until my sister and I became adults that we rediscovered our relationship and became closer than ever before. I want my children to reach that sibling unity earlier than my sister and I did so that they can experience the benefits sooner than later. I’ll try my hardest to guide them because I know that sibling relationships are very beneficial. Let me tell you three major reasons why siblings need each other.
3 Reasons Why Siblings Need Each Other
Sibling relationships are very beneficial.
So many lessons and attributes can be learned, especially with siblings who live together and deal with each other on a daily basis. I am a mother to two children who love to disagree on just about anything, so I try to remember that each dispute is an opportunity for them to learn and to grow as individuals. This type of mentality also helps keep me sane in the process. Arguing is an opportunity for them to learn how to disagree with others. For example, they are learning that it is okay to disagree and have different opinions and views than someone else and that disagreements and arguments do not have to result in name-calling or fistfighting. That is just a tiny sliver of principles that can be taught through sibling rivalry. Others include: how to respect other people’s things and their space; how to have empathy for other people’s feelings; how to effectively communicate with one another; how to encourage others instead of putting them down. The list goes on and on. These teachings are put to the test daily in the midst of brothers and sisters, which means daily opportunities for growth. Hang on tight parents! The sibling rivalry ride may be mentally exhausting, but your constant efforts will allow your children to reap the benefits in the long run.
Something to consider is that a sibling relationship doesn’t have a standard as to what it’s supposed to look like. Siblings could share the same mother and father or share only the same mother or share only the same father. Maybe siblings do not share any biological parent at all but were raised closely together. Perhaps an only child made a pinky promise to their best friend that they’d be siblings by heart for the rest of their lives. What matters is the bond that is created and what is felt in the heart between these sibling relationships.
My sibling circumstances are quite diverse. My sister and I share the same mother and father, and we grew up under the same household for most of our childhood. I also have a “stepbrother” in technical terminology (we don’t share any biological parents, but my father and his mother were in a relationship together for the majority of our lives). We saw each other on a monthly basis since before I can remember. He was the first sibling I built a friendly bond with. My youngest brother and I share the same father and not the same mother. Technically speaking, he is my “half brother.” There is lots of diversity amongst my siblings, but the love I have for them in my heart is all the same. That bond is irreplaceable, and there’s nothing quite like sisterhood and brotherhood.
This connection may simply relate to family ties. Obviously, siblings most likely have family relations that may pull them together for family gatherings or celebrations. Siblings may even catch up on the telephone and stay connected and discuss family matters, events, and updates. How awesome is it to have a companion in this world based on family ties? A sibling connection may also be bonded by friendship and unity. I enjoy seeing my sister and spending time with her. Honestly, I wish I could see her more than I do now. We both have children, and they are forming their own bonds together. My sister is precious to me and absolutely allows me to feel a lot less lonely in this world. If there’s anyone who may understand my deepest insecurities and where they may come from, it’d probably be my sister. We have had many ups and many downs, and through it all, we have become friends. I couldn’t imagine my life without her.
While talking about sibling relationships, I think deeply about my birth son because he is currently an only child. His is definitely not deprived at all from meaningful relationships. He has lots of love, support, and guidance all around the board. He may not always be an only child, and one thing I know for sure is that he would be an amazing big brother! If he stays an only child, I just want him to know and understand that he never missed out on having a brother or sister. I want him to know that he has always been a brother in his birth siblings’ hearts since before he was born. He will always have a place at their sibling table, and he will always have a friend in the form of a sibling through his birth family.
Heather courageously became a birth mother in 2014. She is inspired to personally share how open adoption has incredibly impacted her life. She shatters the common misconceptions about birth mothers, and desires to provide a beautiful and unique point of view. Heather enjoys her grind as an administrative specialist for a millwork company in Wisconsin. While dedicated to her profession, Heather believes her most important job in life is motherhood. Her three children keep her busy, yet extremely overjoyed and purposeful. Her free time is spent reading, writing, or admiring the view of Lake Michigan, which can be seen from her front porch.
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