Growing up with siblings can certainly be a challenge but the things you learn from them can be priceless. I’m glad I didn’t grow up as an only child, even though the thought probably crossed my mind a time or two. Here are the top five lessons I learned from having siblings.
1. I learned how to share.
I was the only child for 10 months and 16 days. Then my little sister came along. Sharing came a little easier for me then it did for my sister. I would try my hardest to follow my mom’s rules about sharing my things with her. One time I even let her move into my bedroom with me, but that didn’t last long. I found out very quickly that she was a messy child, and I was just the opposite. She had a harder time sharing things with me and would take my toys and dolls and we would fight like crazy. Our mom and dad worked hard with the both of us and eventually we learned how to share nicely with each other. We didn’t have many problems with sharing when we were older.
2. I learned how to be a big sister.
Since I was the oldest child, I pretty much did everything first. When I started school, I was a year ahead of my little sister, so that meant I had to go make new friends first, be the first to learn new things, and be the first one to be away from home all day. When she started school, I remember her looking up to me and asking questions over certain rules at school or coming to me for homework help. She even made the same friends as me and we would hang out at school. As we got older, she still would come to me for advice and look up to me as her older sister.
3. I learned how to love and be loved.
Growing up with a sibling taught me how to love and be loved. I know we fought a lot and didn’t always get along but the things we went through brought us closer together. After our dad left, we gained a step brother and two step sisters. We leaned on each other for support as we had to embrace this new change in our family. I know it would have been harder for me to adjust to new siblings if I never had a sister. Being loved by siblings is a special thing.
4. I learned different emotions.
From all of the ups and downs, I learned a lot of different emotions and feelings from having siblings. Going from a happy play day with my sister, to fighting, not only taught me how to be happy, but it also taught me what it meant to feel frustrated or sad. This not only helped prepare me for school and new siblings, but it also helped me grow as a person. I had to learn what emotions were and how to deal with them.
5. I learned encouragement.
As we got older, my sister was very encouraging to me and I learned how to be encouraging back to her. We went through some hard times growing up and I’m thankful we had each other to lean on. We rooted each other on in our relationships, schooling, friendships, and dreams. We also became close friends before we each moved out of the house and started our own lives.