Sibling Connection: it comes from the heart

While siblings fight for attention from their parents, once they become adults they set aside their differences and support and care for each other.

The relationship between siblings can sometimes be complicated.  They each have their differences and years of envy and arguments from childhood, but at the end of the day, they always reach a new birth when becoming adults, and experience the strength of a bond that comes straight from the heart.

According to a study performed by the Institute of Personality and Social Research at the University of California, Berkeley, birth order among siblings is generally important.

As children, each one of us has to use certain strategies to obtain attention from parents, but once these siblings grow up, often times they set aside these differences from the past and start to take care of one another.

This is a special connection that you can’t choose. Blood is what binds these people, and it’s day-to-day life that creates the bond that transcends time, generations and age.

Siblings also make up a lot of one’s identity, and they’re also the ones that rise up to support us in complicated times.

So let’s take a look at this.

Sibling connection and the impact of birth order

It has always surprised me the amount of studies that have been conducted from a psychological perspective, focused on explaining the importance of birth order.

Older siblings

According to the evolutionary psychologist Frank J. Sulloway, at the University of California, Berkeley, as explained in his book “Born to Rebel”, older siblings present certain characteristics that a lot of individuals identify with:

  • They are generally more responsible and accept changes within the family better.
  • Older siblings are the ones that most often face their parents when something is unjust.
  • It is also often said that the older sibling generally receives more values from the parents while the remaining siblings are treated with more indulgence and fewer rules.
  • This will sometimes cause the oldest child to accept these values, or as previously mentioned, they could rebel against them.

The middle child

Often times it is ironically said that the middle child is in “no-man’s land”.  They search for their place within the family and that’s why they often times seek attention.  They don’t like hierarchy and they will react against what they perceive as an injustice.

  • They try to be outstanding in something, to be smarter than their older siblings, or more clever than their younger siblings.
  • Studies say that they will always try to establish personal and emotional relationships where they are “tended to” and where they are clearly equals, free of any dominance or “superior” conduct.

Curiously enough, pop culture confirms that a rebellious sibling will follow the first, responsible child.  This type of statement or study, however, does not define everyone.

There are undoubtedly lots of differences among each family.

The youngest child

According to the book “Ties that Last Forever” by Jurg Frick, the youngest child you exhibit two very different extremes.

  •  They could become the independent child with a heavily defined character that tries to leave the house as early as possible.  Or, they could be little boys or girls that are even more dependent on their parents and brothers.

You could say that the youngest child will always live with the title of “smallest in the house”.

Siblings: an ambivalent yet powerful relationship

So let’s stop talking about birth order for a while.  Everyone knows that during childhood and adolescence children struggle to find their position in their family.  Jealousy starts to crop up along with periods of confrontation and extremely complicated situations that in some ways stay with us for the rest of our lives.

  • Siblings help to socialize us.  This early social situation is what helps us learn to share, to manage intense emotions like rage or envy, and how to put ourselves in someone else’s shoes, so as to develop empathy.
  • There’s someone around with whom to share an ambivalent relationship.  A lot of siblings maintain complex relationships: your character might not align with your sibling’s ideas, values or passions.
Children caring for a tree

The bond, however, is often times much more powerful than the differences between siblings.

This blood bond and the connection of past moments enjoyed together is what causes siblings to always get together, enjoy their reunions, and it is why the camaraderie from childhood is reborn.  The love that was born during childhood continues even throughout adulthood.

Our brothers and sisters are a source of union and equilibrium that will stay with us forever.  We all have our own differences, our craziness and our responsibilities.

Siblings share certain traits, however, and sometimes they even laugh the same.  And even though they took different paths, they will always meet at the same crossing: love.

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