Once dominated by families that had 4,5,6 or even 10 kids, families these days either have one or at most 2 kids after thinking for quite some time! Even with these 1 or 2 kids parents hire maids, nannies and more to take care of these children. Kids are the cornerstone of happiness, fun and the sound of laughter at home. There are many who would agree on the fact that returning home to your kids is one of the biggest blessings available to mankind. Its different reasons that couples these days quote for anything from not wanting to have kids to restricting to a single child. The whims and fancies surrounding the positives and negatives of a single child have always been present in our families but at the end of day we have always supported the presence of a sibling.
Being the eldest, youngest, middle one or even twins has its own pros and cons in life. While the eldest is expected to take responsibilities the youngest is always pampered making him/her lack certain qualities expected while the middle one in any family exists as the most neglected human being. Twins have their own share of worries as there is a competitive edge between them and the world keeps comparing these children for anything and everything that they do. Yet, siblings share a bond of their own relishing the presence of each other, relying onto each other in times of distress and supporting one and other when situation demands. Its only very rarely do we see sibling rivalry taking upon serious turns in life with the siblings staying out of sync with each other forever.
Going in for the Sibling Love
Besides having someone to shoulder them in times of need the presence of a sibling is a blessing in many other ways. Kids learn to share things, care for other people, learn to co-exist, adjust for others’ needs and above all, constantly have someone with whom they can spend quality time. Now, we have evidence that quality of relationship among siblings affects these kids’ mental health and risky behaviour. Siblings with positive relationships engaged in less risky behaviour and those with negative relationships engaged in more risky behaviour. Hence, it is essential that parents encourage their children to spend quality time with each other as this helps them develop a close bond and motivate them to take care of each other. Such positive sibling relationships during childhood makes these kids maintain the same through adulthood as well.
The relationship between siblings decides upon their risk of depressive symptoms and involvement in risky behaviour including that of sexual risks in life. Negative relationship between siblings is greatly linked to anti-social, aggressive and delinquent behaviour that includes even substance use while a good relationship between siblings is totally linked to positive adjustments, improved peer and romantic relationships, academic adjustments, positive mental health and well-being. It is even suggested that teaching children to communicate in positive ways, help them come up with win-win situations and making them understand that both belong to the same team instead of treating each other as competitors helps siblings show self-control, social confidence, perform better in school and display minimal risks of depression compared to those siblings who are not in tune with each other.
While siblings are a blessing and having a brother or sister can be a welcome relief a sister-sister relationship is the best of the lot. Young or old, having a sister improves your well-being and increases your affinity for performing good things in life (https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2010/oct/28/sisters-good-for-mental-health-report).
While elder children would have been a bit apprehensive when a younger one arrives in the family even trying to garner attention by indulging in negative stuff, studies clearly show that kids with younger siblings are less likely to be obese. Single kids and even mothers of singleton babies are likelier to be obese themselves. This change in weight status in kids in the presence of a sibling is surprising but when we look into the issue there are quite a few logical stuffs that do make sense. Having a younger child in the family makes the elder one more active as he/she starts running around the toddler to engage the little one; families also are likelier to take kids to the play area or park when there are two instead of one child; elder kids stop engaging with television but start to engage in pretend play sessions and other such activities with the younger sibling; above all, parents start loosening their grip on the elder child and his/her eating habits as they find it exhaustive to focus all their attention to the child’s eating behaviour. Moms start letting off control to the kids themselves allowing them to respond to their satiety cues and self-regulate their eating habits. This helps the child get on board a healthier weight pattern compared to a child without a sibling.
Though you might fight like Tom and Jerry, can’t stand the presence of each other, envy one another and feel good when the other is not at home all these are temporary feelings. The basic love and affection for each other is everlasting which grows stronger as siblings grow into adults. Close or distant, busy or free the relationship remains rock solid and powerful as families stay strong forever and the sibling bond stays stronger through the thick and thin of life. So, thank your blessings and cherish your sibling for there might come a day where you don’t get to thank enough for his/her presence in your life.
Adult Siblings can Make Our Lives Healthier & Happier: https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2017/11/23/565362158/adult-siblings-can-make-our-lives-healthier-and-happier
Having a Younger Sibling May be Good for Your Health: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-obesity-siblings/having-a-younger-sibling-may-be-good-for-your-health-idUSKCN0WD2CN
Is it Better for Children to Have Siblings? https://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-23778123
Why Sisters are Good for You: https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2010/oct/28/sisters-good-for-mental-health-report
Good Relationship between Siblings can Keep Risky Behaviours at Bay: https://www.indiatoday.in/lifestyle/relationship/story/good-relationship-between-siblings-can-keep-risky-behaviors-at-bay-266387-2015-10-05
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