Our Older Siblings: Friends and Second Parents
Older siblings didn’t ask to be older siblings. One fine day their lives changed with the arrival of that younger sibling, something whiny and spoiled whose parents suddenly offered nearly all of their attention.
The older sibling needed some time to accept that they were no longer the only kid in the house. That older sibling was no longer the prince who was destined to receive all of the toys and touches.
He had to learn to share affection and to take good care of his clothing or his books so that they could be passed down to the younger siblings.
Almost without knowing how, something bizarre followed those years of small jealousies and tough concessions, which they didn’t know very well how to define.
As they grew older, it became clear that they had a role, a right and a duty: to look after and to take care of those special friends. Those younger siblings would become a part of the older sibling’s heart.
We invite you to reflect on this.
Older siblings: vital traveling companions
Despite the fact that not everyone maintains a good relationship with their siblings, for the vast majority of the population, they assume an irreplaceable psychological and emotional support.
We share with them a common origin and history that, at times, might not have been exactly easy.
They give us roots and unite us to those days ever so decisive as our infancy and early childhood. They are the ones also who support us in these days of maturing.
An older sibling is like a second father or a second mother
An older sibling sees himself obligated in his moment to reconsider many aspects when new guests come into his life, claiming his “position.”
For many children it is, without a doubt, something complex that the parents should learn to manage. Parents need to cover the affective necessities of all the siblings equally.
- Only when all the children see themselves as loved in the same way by their parents are their fears and doubts pacified to give way to a much more enriching and powerful dimension: the older siblings become protectors for the smallest ones.
- They are the ones, in addition, who are going to live the first experiences and therein set the example that the younger ones will follow.
- The older sibling is the one who will offer advice, advice that adolescents are sometimes too afraid to ask their parents.
They are the ones who will intuit in each moment what is needed and what is the method of doing certain things to ensure that their younger siblings don’t make the same mistakes they did.
When the relationship we have with our parents is somewhat complicated or isn’t as satisfactory as it should be, the link that siblings establish is much more intense.
That small, vital circle between older and younger siblings arises like a wall of protecting, for building support and emotional strategies to face hardship. They are instances that, if experienced in early childhood, do not tend to be forgotten in maturity.
In spite of everything, their love is unconditional.
It could be that they don’t tell you often. In fact, it is very possible that that older sibling is not the kind to express often how much he loves you. Maybe he doesn’t tell you what you mean in his life.
- Well then, you can intuit it in his concern for you, in his phone calls, and in those moments that you share where you become children again.
- You also notice it in the simple fact of perceiving how he puts you ahead of many other things, reflecting, once again, his protector instinct.
Older brothers are a pillar in your life. Often, it makes you wonder what your day to day would be like without that exceptional and wonderful connection.
- It is curious that it’s said that siblings “are the enemies you love the most.” This highlights once again those complex years of childhood in which the pranks, the shouts and the bickering marked some moment or other.
- Nevertheless, all of these vital pieces help us to educate our children better in the future.
- We understand that arguments and bickering are normal, but we also try to treat everyone the same. We refrain from discriminating on the basis of gender. At the same time, we avoid overloading the older sibling with responsibilities merely for being a few years older.
A childhood inhabited by love, affection and respect is vital for every child to grow in a way that is mature, safe and free.