The Benefits of Having Siblings
Having siblings can be a wonderful experience. Of course, it may not always feel that fantastic. When you’re little and you have to share a lot of space and attention or when you’re older and have to compete with your sibling, you definitely may not appreciate every aspect.
Depending on your birth order, you and your siblings may have a different opinion on how wonderful it really is to have siblings. While you may bicker and have disagreements, there are actually some amazing benefits to growing up with someone at your side. Some of these pros you may have thought of and some you may not have known, so let’s see if I can give you a new appreciation for your brothers or sisters.
It’s Good For Your Health
Research has actually shown that people who have siblings tend to grow up being able to tackle difficult life situations easier than those without siblings. Between any sibling rivalries that you may have dealt with in addition to having to deal with sharing attention and space with another person, your childhood was a little like training for the “being an adult Olympics.”
Having a sibling has put you in situations that you wouldn’t have had to deal with if you had been an only child. And while there are benefits to being an only child as well, having a sibling allowed you to learn how to deal with some challenges very early on. That in turn – according to science – has left you in what is likely a healthier mental space.
You’ve Got a Friend
Even if you’re the polar opposite of your siblings, you will always have a friend when you have siblings in your life. Siblings, especially those who grew up in the same house as you, are able to relate to your experiences, thoughts, and feelings throughout your lifetime. You may not agree with each other on everything (or anything), but when you’ve started at the same home base, you have an understanding that no one else can possibly have.
Less Likely to Divorce?
The jury is still out on this one, but there is data to indicate that people who grow up with siblings are less likely to divorce. The reasoning behind this is that these people have developed better coping skills to work with other human beings and may therefore be able to weather the storms more successfully. In order to stay married, you have to have good communication skills, which is a main practice that you may (or may not) have developed earlier in your life with siblings.
Achieving Your Goals
Living with siblings as a child tends to boost effort levels towards achieving goals. Whether you strove to be more successful than your sibling or wanted to be on the same team, having a sibling instilled a naturally competitive element into your life.
When you get out into the world, the idea of competing with others for attention, success or sport is something you’ve been exposed to already. It is not new. So in the end, this naturally learned behavior makes having siblings pretty beneficial to your adult success.
Siblings often have a natural connection – meaning that they can almost sense when the other is having a difficult time. While we have all heard that twins have an uncanny ability to know each other, there is also something to be said for having a sibling connection as well.
Having a sibling that you can call or touch base with throughout your life allows you to deter depression from taking over during the more challenging times. Remember, you may not know each other as well as you once did, but your sibling knows you and your history in a way that no one else possibly could. With far fewer words, your sibling will be able to understand you like most others can’t.
A Closet Full of Clothes
Having a sibling means that you will forever have someone that you can share clothing with! That likely means from the time you are big enough to fit in each other’s clothes until the day that you have different styles. That could be forever! And don’t think that just because one of you is a girl and one is a boy that you can’t share clothes. There are a lot of crossovers to be had.
Lend a Shoulder
One of the biggest benefits of having siblings is that you will forever have someone to turn to when you need advice. You may or may not want the advice they give based on your history, but you will always have someone who is hopefully in your court.
Having a visit or calling your sibling during a time where you have to make an important decision is a huge benefit because like we’ve discussed before, there is no one who knows you like your sibling. If you approach them with honesty and an intentional desire to hear what they think – or be there for them in a time of need – you can have confidence that they are there for you.
Having siblings is a really amazing thing to experience in life. There is no one on the planet who knows you like your sibling because no one else grew up in your household. No one else knows the smells of dinner, the tone your parents had when you were in trouble, the car trips that you took to visit the grandparents or any of the other nuances that come with being a sibling.
Whether you and your sibling are best friends or not on the best of terms, let this list remind you what a benefit they are and have been in your life. Your sibling is the friend that you had when you didn’t even know that you wanted one, so make sure that you make the most of that relationship. It will continue to benefit both of you.