April 10th was National Sibling Day, to honor the relationships of siblings
About 80 percent of people have at least one brother or sister. Having a sibling goes a long way toward determining what kind of person you are, or have become. The sibling relationship is also the longest relationship that most people will have in their lives. Many psychoanalysts now believe that people can be shaped as much or more by their siblings than their parents.
My siblings have certainly had an impact on my life. Being a twin brings a whole different light on the sibling situation for me. My brother is 6 years younger than us, and I’ve always wondered how our twin relationship has impacted him.
Here are some ways that siblings impact your life:
Stress Reducer – Siblings help reduce stress. I was a particularly “home sick” child (wimp) in my younger years. I hated new things, and change. My sister and I did everything together including “Camp Wind-in-the-Pines” Girl Scout camp. Worst trip of my life (no offense to Girl Scout Camp)! Guess who was there to hold my hand (literally), and console me throughout the trip? Yup, she hung right in there with me, even if it meant that she had to constantly explain to people why I was crying. What a trooper. Thanks Sis!
Tolerance – Siblings have fights 6 to 10 times an hour depending on the age groups. While these fights might be a headache to parents, they help provide good training for interacting with peers. No matter what you say or do, your sibling will be there tomorrow at the dinner table. Siblings learn to negotiate and compromise; and to tolerate the negative emotions that crop up in life. Fighting with my siblings happened often enough to give me strength for what I believed, but it also taught me love and compassion.
Inspire Differences – Some kids strive to be like their siblings, and some strive to be opposite. A sibling can help you find your own identity. My sister certainly helped me do that. My twin has always had a strong sense of nurturing for me and my brother. Sometimes it could be overbearing, but it helped both me and my brother realize that we needed to make our own decisions, independent of one another.
Sibling Jealousy – Young adults who felt their siblings were favored by parents as kids had lower self-esteem, and were more likely to foster feelings of jealousy, and sibling rivalry. We were blessed to have parents that looked at each of us as individuals. We all brought different talents and abilities to the table, and we were honored specially for those gifts that we had. There was never any measuring, or worrying about making things equal in my family. It taught us to respect and be proud of our sibling’s special opportunities and accomplishments. To this day, I couldn’t be prouder of both my brother and my sister’s accomplishments.
So in honor of National Sibling Day… Thank you to my siblings for helping make me who I am today. I love you both!