Monday, June 24, 2013

Sibling Rivalry

by Kate Collins

I read an article in this week's Parade Magazine entitled, "The Science of Siblings."  There were a lot of research results in it, such how the stereotypes of the firstborn, middle and lastborn children are based in fact, and how important it is for parents to be fair and show no impartiality.  I'm very happy to say my mother was extremely fair and always loved us equally, and I have striven to follow her example with my own children.

What surprised me about the article was how important sibling relationships continue to be in adulthood, especially in middle age and beyond. According to experts, there's what is called "sibling drift", where siblings move away, start careers, and have families, with little time to connect. Then in middle age, as other loved ones pass away, siblings become important sources of comfort and support.

In fact, according to this article, the happiest, healthiest and least lonely people have strong sibling relationships. Again, I thank my mother for helping my sister, brother and I achieve that. It's not that we agree on everything or think alike, (I can hear them chortling now) but we do share a strong bond that we've made a priority to keep.

Do you think sibling support is necessary? Are you close or on good terms with your siblings?