It’s National Sibling Day. I know, many of you are thinking “is that a real thing…?” Apparently it is! I recently had my second child and began to witness the importance of siblings. For many, a sibling is the first relationship that a child learns social skills and how to be a friend. In particular, a sibling teaches a child how to manage conflict, negotiation skills, and social skills. This is great perspective for many parents who are at their wits end with their children’s conflict and trying to manage their arguments. Please realize these can be typical sibling relationship dynamics and these “negative behaviors” can be teaching very important skills. With that said, there must be boundaries of what is and what is not acceptable. For instance, I typically limit set with physical altercation and name calling. It’s also good to promote affection and positive family experiences to foster the relationship! Game nights, dinners at the family table, and family outings are a few ideas to promote positive family experiences.
Another benefit of having a sibling is the constant support system. Their sibling might be the only person in the world that truly understands their stressors. For instance, I have many adolescent clients in my office that talk about how they rely on their brother or sister during a parent’s divorce, a move across town, or death in the family. The benefit of this support system is powerful. This benefit lasts throughout adulthood.
Last, and maybe most important, according to one study, life is better with siblings! Brigham Young University completed a study that discovered that having a sibling helps an individual be better at avoiding depression, and lowers the risk for delinquency. The study attributed this positive phenomenon to having a constant confidant. In addition, the study noted that individuals with a sibling tend to be more charitable. How awesome is it that having a sibling can “make life better!” To read more about the study: http://www.deseretnews.com/article/700053714/BYU-study-says-siblings-make-life-sweeter.html?pg=all
Don’t forget to hug your brother or sister today! After all they “make life better!”
Written by: Amy Rollo, M.A., LSSP, LPC-S
Amy Rollo is a Licensed Professional Counselor Supervisor and the Clinical Director at Cy-Hope Counseling. Cy-Hope Counseling provides counseling and evaluation services in the Cypress, TX area. Amy’s goal in counseling is to journey with her clients in order to foster positive changes and growth in their lives.