There are a lot of positive advantages from having siblings. I, myself, have two sisters and two brothers. I am the oldest of all my siblings, and even though I am a twin, I was born first. I have countless memories of growing up with them, and it has instilled a lot of positive values that I have them to thank for. For those who have siblings or parents deciding whether or not to have another child, here are five advantages to having siblings.
1. Siblings Are Bonded For Life
When you have a sibling, whether younger or older, you have a friend for life. You love and support one another. Of course, there will be sibling rivalry, but at the end of the day you will always be family. My sister’s and I don’t always see eye to eye, but we are the best of friends. We know that we have that sister bond that makes us love each other unconditionally.
2. You Can’t Always Have It Your Own Way
Having siblings helps you realize that you really can’t always have your way. The more siblings you have, the more you understand this concept. Growing up with 4 siblings, I grew out of the “mine” stage quickly. I knew I had to share everything, especially since I have a twin. We shared a room, toys, clothes, friends, birthdays, time spent with parents etc. I learned from an early age about compromise. In order to get things done or to avoid an argument, we had to cooperate with each other and compromise. When you are the only child you may stay in the “mine” stage a lot longer than someone with a sister or brother if they don’t have any one to practice sharing with.
3. With Responsibility Comes Maturity
If you have siblings younger than yourself, you have probably heard from your parents “Be a good role model.” You also may have had to babysit from time to time. Parents usually count on the older ones to take care of the younger ones. This responsibility helped grow my maturity. As an only child you may have not have the experience of having to take care of someone other than yourself as an adolescence.
4. Good Communication Is Key
In order to avoid conflict, good communication and learning to be more tolerant of others is important. An only child may not have to worry about who gets to watch the channel they want to watch, who gets to ride up front, who gets the last slice of pizza etc. It’s great to learn about getting along and conflict resolution at home. That way when you go out in the world, you have the skills necessary to deal with problems that may arise. As a woman with multiple siblings, I learned to what to say and what not to say. Of course all siblings have the magic power of knowing which buttons to press.
5. How To Forgive People You Don’t Momentarily Like
Forgiveness is so important and a very useful skill. Sometimes having a sister and brother, you realize you love someone you don’t necessarily like. However, you have to live with them and see them every day; an only child who has a friend they don’t like can simply not see just not hang around them anymore. When my sister and I would fight, I learned it’s better to just forgive and move on than to stay mad at each other. Having siblings grows character and is very rewarding.