For the past few weeks I have blogged about the detrimental effects of sibling bullying and sibling rivalry. I shared how sibling bullying can be just as, if not more,damaging as peer bullying. I also told the infamous story of the family feud between the Dassler brothers. Most of us don't know who the Dassler brothers were, but we know their legacy…Adidas and Puma. Well after exploring the detrimental effects of unhealthy sibling relationships, I'd like to turn the focus to more positive things... the importance of a healthy sibling relationship.
Did you know that research has shown that healthy sibling relationships can significantly benefit us later in life? Those with positive sibling relationships report higher life satisfaction and lower rates of depression later in life. Also in times of illness and traumatic events, siblings provide emotional, social, and psychological support to each other. Research shows that this support is common regardless of whether they live next to or far away from each other.
Three reasons why sibling relationships are very important:
1. Friendships may come and go, but you’re stuck with your sibling. This relationship is oftentimes one of the longest relationships in a person’s life.
3. Our siblings are our family tree. They are a part of who we are and that relationship is a shared history that makes this unique relationship invaluable.
So while all of this may sound nice, how do you encourage and promote a healthy sibling relationship?
Most parents want nothing more than their children to get along. Siblings are essential to child development. The benefits of a healthy sibling relationship can last a lifetime.Throughout the years they can become supportive friends. Besides, other than your parents,’ who else knows you better than your brother or sister?
Conger K, Little W. Sibling relationships during the transition to adulthood. Child Development Perspectives. 2010;4:87–94.
Ohio State University: http://fcs.osu.edu/sites/fcs/files/unprotected/families/stages-of-life/a...