Five Benefits of Having a Sibling
Siblings Day is a holiday recognized every April 10th in Canada and the United States. It is an official holiday, but I’m fairly certain most of us wouldn’t know it existed if it weren’t for social media. Seeing all the outpouring of sentiments made me think about what having a sibling adds to our life. Here are five benefits of having a sibling.
1. Siblings make us a little tougher.
I’m not condoning physical aggression of any kind, but almost all siblings occasionally get into a scuffle or at least a friendly wrestling match. I thought my oldest daughter was a perfect big sister until I saw an old home movie where she was secretly pinching her little sister while keeping an angelic smile on her face as she looked into the camera. Sadly, her little sister must have been used to it because she showed very little reaction.
Second-born kids are definitely tougher, or maybe I should say resilient. If they get pushed down, they jump right back up and brush themselves off. Oh, and by the way, don’t worry about my youngest baby. By the time they were teenagers, she was much taller and tougher and got revenge on her sneaky big sister!
2. You’ve got a friend.
If you’ve got a sibling, you almost always have a friend. You may not always want to play with your sibling, but sometimes that’s the only option, so you take it. If you’re lucky, you get along great and prefer playing with your sister or brother. When my kids were preschoolers, we belonged to a few playgroups. My daughters always chose to play with each other instead of the other kids. I think most parents hope that after they are gone, their kids will choose to be lifelong friends.
3. Someone always has your back.
Siblings may fight at home, but almost all siblings I’ve known will be their brother’s or sister’s defender and protector against others. It’s OK if I pick on my brother or sister, but nobody else is allowed to do the same! Having a sibling means always having someone on your team.
4. You learn to share.
Having a sibling almost guarantees you will know how to share, whether willingly or by force. It’s not only toys and food that must be shared; it’s time and attention. When there are multiple kids in the family, one child doesn’t monopolize the conversation, which teaches a child to listen as well as talk.
Life isn’t always fair. Your sibling might get the bigger piece of cake or a turn to choose the show. It’s good to share, and it’s also good to be the star once in a while. It’s all about balance.
5. Siblings teach us.
We learn so much from our siblings, both good and bad. Sisters and brothers teach us how to do practical things, sometimes help us in academic areas, and maybe most importantly, they teach us socialization skills. I was lucky to have two older sisters who taught me many things. They taught me to ride a bicycle, how to pass a swim test so I could swim in the deep end, what to wear on a date, and how to drive a car. Without knowing it, they also taught me what NOT to do. As the third child, I watched and learned to see what they did to get in trouble and avoided those actions.
Having a sibling prepares us for the world. It may not always be fun, but apparently, my grandkids enjoy the experience. They have launched a campaign with their parents asking for more siblings. (Maybe teaming up against your parents could be benefit number six, but we probably shouldn’t encourage that!) Five-year-old Callister believes ten kids would be the perfect number of children for his family. As the grandparent, I know when to mind my own business, but I suspect he may have to settle for more pets.