I grew up with 2 siblings, both sisters. Those days were filled with moments that ranges from intense battles over 'who gets to sleep with mommy today' to 'standing up for my sister' fighter moments. Today, all of us are immersed in our own careers and families. We can go months without talking to each other, and yet- the first people that come to mind when I am in a crisis are my siblings. Whether it is the most trivial bickering that's itching to get off my chest; or the need to communicate life-changing news or something that could be, well- plain embarrassing. The amazing thing is I can talk to them about anything on the planet- without the added burden of watching my words or carrying the fear of being judged.
And, I am not even talking about zero-conflict situation here.
As it goes, research shows that people who have grown up with siblings carry some distinct advantages over others.
1. They shape the person you become:
Kids raised with siblings have a natural understanding that people can be very different. The brother might be quiet, and an avid reader. The sister might be a barefoot adventurer at heart. When you grow up with people with different aptitudes and personalities than yourself, it instills a very high social and emotional understanding of people around you; even much later in life. Plus, it gives them a natural knack at handling conflicts. According to this study by The Columbus Dispatch, even divorce rates are significantly lower for people with siblings.
2. They help you communicate better:
People with siblings have negotiated a lot in their younger days. Watching and listening to siblings helps kids strengthen their communication loop. They quickly understand what will work and what won't with their friends. They also develop unique methods to negotiate with their parents. Dr. Laurie Kramer, co-author of the book, Siblings as Agents of Socialization, a sibling's influence on a child is just as important as a parent's. While a parent lays the founding stones for formal behaviour in the society; siblings help a great deal in developing informal behavioral traits.
3. They cement your attitude towards the opposite sex:
People who have grown up with siblings of the opposite sex are presented with ample opportunities to understand the
challenges of the opposite sex. This study of the Pennsylvania State University found that siblings of different sexes have an easier time attracting the opposite sex and succeed in very high levels of engagement while dating.
4 . It translates to real success.
All that better understanding of human nature and relationships translates to real success, especially for men. According to the Grant Study, a study by Harvard Medical School that began in 1934(and continues till today), men who have siblings earn roughly $50000 more per year.
5 . It's one of the most enduring relationships of your life.
Children who grew up with healthy relationships with their siblings tend to feel more supported and secure during adulthood. Not surprisingly, this is because siblings know you right through your soul as a result of sharing the same parents, same environment, same conditioning, same discipline and even the same disappointments. According to Dr. Terri Apter, author of 'The Sister Knot', siblings may not always agree with you or even like you, but they elicit a great interest in you that is difficult to replicate in any other relationship.
The author writes on www.kidskintha.com; a platform where two important facets that affect childhood,and eventually adulthood are discussed- Parenting and Education .