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The Importance of Sibling Relationships

Evangeline Plant

"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" - Pamela Dugdale.

The special bond that siblings share is a remarkable form of friendship that will last forever. As parents, we can see first hand the unique connection that siblings create and we should encourage this development of affection and make sure the children know they will always have a friend in each other. The support, warmth, enjoyment, freedom, and friendship siblings have within their relationships will last a lifetime.

Siblings are usually the only people to have constant lifelong relationships. For the majority of siblings, having such a tight-knit relationship means they were born with a best friend that will always be there. A friend they can tell all of their secrets too, have fun with and importantly teach you the meaning of family love and we should really cherish that.

An unbreakable sibling bond can also be contributory to a healthy mind and general well-being. The nature within the relationships can be seen as one of the most substantial factors determining mental health as you get older. Research by The American Journal of Psychiatry shows that people who are emotionally close to their siblings have higher life satisfaction and lower rates of depression later in life. The support from a sibling can really benefit states of well-being, in particular, that of emotion.

What is often typical amongst siblings is the feeling that their parents have a favourite child and when that favourite child is not them it can get bitter. Parents must recognise that in these circumstances it is crucial to be a good listener, take on board what your children are saying, and work with it to make sure the feeling deteriorates.

Being close as siblings can accommodate behaviour later in life when it comes to forming adult relationships, so early interactions with siblings play a huge part in this. There has been research suggesting that early relationships within families affect how attachment is formed in adult couple interactions.

As parents, what we can do is encourage our children to spend time together, enjoy each others company, find best friends in each other and most importantly teach them how to love, form a special bond and be kind.

“To the outside world, we all grow old. But not to brothers and sisters. We know each other as we always were. We know each other’s hearts” - Claire Ortega. 

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