Siblings teach each other

As Pamela Dugdale once said, “siblings are the people we practice on, the people who teach us about fairness and cooperation and kindness and caring – quite often the hard way.”

The strangest relationship two or more people can share is the bond of siblings. All older, younger and middle brothers and sisters know what I mean. Siblings are the only people on Earth who can love and hate each other at the same time, yet siblings come with many emotional and physical challenges and benefits.

Despite the kicking, screaming and hair pulling from all the fights over the years, we love our siblings to death. There is no person on earth who understands someone as well as their brother or sister. Siblings teach each other valuable lessons while growing up and long afterwards. 

The division of attention, time and money parents must give their kids serves as a humbling reminder to most siblings that they aren’t the center of the universe. For example, if one sibling gets more presents than the other for their birthdays, it is something the both children must come to terms with. Accepting that not all situations can be fair or in your favor reflects many life situations adults struggle with.

From an early age into adulthood, siblings also teach the lesson of collaboration firsthand. Whether it be playing dolls, cars or board games, brothers and sisters are constantly cooperating, learning and practicing social skills such as sharing, resolving arguments and forgiveness. Learning these skills at an early age and practicing them frequently, as siblings must do with one another, teaches them important skills often used in the future.

The benefits don’t stop in the mind. A BBC study revealed that siblings are less likely to develop diseases and disorders than only children, such as hay fever, asthma, multiple sclerosis and Crohn’s disease. Although the reasoning behind this is still unknown, it is suspected that siblings help to expose each other to many germs at a young age, boosting the body’s defenses and immune system. 

Although siblings are often annoying and cranky towards one another, they come with many benefits that will aid in the future. So the next time you get annoyed at your sibling and wish to be an only child, remember that they have helped you develop useful social skills and health benefits.

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