Sibling love is a very specific kind of relationship. Sometimes, siblings get along as much as cats and dogs do. But, regardless of many fights and quarrels that siblings go through while growing up, sibling bond is impossible to break.
Sibling relationships are as diverse and manifold as any other form of human interaction. But, what all relationships between siblings have in common is that they teach us how to love and give, regardless of our own interests, and regardless of disagreements.
How sister and brother bond differs from any other
No family is exactly alike. When it comes to siblings, there are many combinations, depending on the age difference, gender, number of kids, living arrangements.
And, there are also many nuances to how the siblings relate to each other. However, relationships between brother and sister always differ from those with the parents or other adults.
Psychologically, children are always closer to each other, even in cases with a big age difference. This is apparent, for example, indifference between single children and those who grew up with siblings.
When children are growing up together, they develop an authentic relationship that is mostly formed on its own, with little adult guidance. In other words, the importance of sibling relationships is in that children develop independency in their social relations through their relationship with siblings.
How brother and sister bond shapes who we’ll be as adults
Relationship and love between siblings is, in a way, a training field for our future relationships with our peers.
While our relationship with our parents influences many of our traits and, potentially, issues we’ll have to deal with in adulthood, relationships with our brothers and sisters models our future interactions. One way to look at it is through the lenses of the games we all play, according to one school in psychology.
For example, if siblings endure hardships together as children, their bond will be unbreakable, but both will probably develop a resilience that will make them into Realists as individuals. Or, if an older sibling cared for the younger one(s), they might develop a sort of a Caregiver life role.
Identity, relationships, and attachment
So, if we’d want to summarize the sibling love meaning for children and adults, it could be viewed from three main perspectives. The first is a matter of identity.
Amid parents and later friends, siblings are the most crucial factor in forming of a child’s identity. Regardless of the quality of the relationship, a child will largely define his or her characteristics compared to the sibling.
Sibling love is also responsible for the way in which we interact with others, i.e. for our future relationships. We learn from our siblings the ways in which our needs and desires relate and clash onto each other.
We learn how to maneuver between different factors that will always be of significance for a relationship, be it with the sibling, with our boss, or our spouse in the future.
Finally, regardless of the quality of the attachment with the parents, children with siblings always get a chance to form a healthy emotional attachment with their brothers and sisters.
They also allow a child to not get unhealthily attached to parents, for example, as a parent will divide their attention to all of the children. In short, sibling love is a path towards a healthy human bond.
For parents – how to encourage siblings to get along
Siblings can be friends or foes. Unfortunately, there’s as much sibling hate as there’s sibling love. However, even if your children don’t get along at all, it’s important to understand the role of parents in helping siblings get along.
You are the one that can and needs to moderate the natural course of things to ensure the greatest benefits for your children.
There are two ways to support and promote sibling love. The first is through the endorsement of foundational principles you wish your children to follow. In this case, deliberate on kindness, empathy, selflessness, and support.
These are the values that will teach your children to get along and help each other not only during childhood but also as adults.
There are also many different sibling bonding activities out there. Think of every game and a playing activity as a means of promoting sibling love.
Make them work as a team, invent games that will require them to share their feelings with each other, help them see the world from the other sibling’s perspective through a change of roles.
There are countless options, explore the ones that fit your family’s habits best, and help your children build a relationship that will last a lifetime.