As much as they may have annoyed you when you were younger, there are so many benefits to having a sibling. Whether you’re making fun of your parents, or just need someone to vent to, you can pretty much always count on your siblings to be there when you need a helping hand.
So, stop the teasing and taunting for a few minutes and try saying thank you to your siblings instead.
Our siblings contribute to our emotional and psychological health.
Researchers got quickly interested when China’s one-child policy was implemented. They found that these only children were not only less trusting, less trustworthy, and more pessimistic, but also less competitive, less conscientious, and more risk-averse. Ruth Williams said, “When you have a positive relationship with your sibling, you’re less likely to have anxiety and depression.”
Furthermore, your relationship with your sibling closely correlates with your mental health, for good and for bad. A 2007 study on Sibling Relationships Globally found that poor sibling relationships in childhood could be a predictor of depression in adulthood. (Unfortunately, the study didn’t include women in the equation so we might keep it aside as it wasn’t representative.) But for both sisters and brothers, some of the healthiest, happiest, and least lonely people are the ones with good sibling relationships. Your siblings, in an indirect way, serve as a catharsis to you.
Having a sibling has helped you have better relationships with others
As a kid, you’ve spent a significant amount of time with your siblings, even when you didn’t want to (trust me, I use to dread ‘family times’ as well). You probably learned how to bicker, barter and argue from them and you probably feel like you could’ve still survived without these talents. I mean it’s not every day you feel the need to use bickering, bartering to get your boss’s attention, am I right? just kidding. According to Laurie Kramer, a professor of applied family studies at the University of Illinois, “While these conflicts can be a headache for parents, they can help kids make developmental strides in a ‘safe relationship’ and provide good training for interacting with peers.” Since you’re stuck with your sibling (at least for a while), you’re stuck with arguing until there is a resolution, thus you learn how to better communicate. Your brother or sister might have actually made you a more compassionate, kinder person. You learn how to be reasonable! I mean it’s probably in one of the most messed up ways but the sibling tantrums are inevitable, might as well take something good out of it!
If our siblings are of the opposite sex, they might have helped us up our romantic game
Growing up with an opposite-sex sibling can help you understand the opposite sex better, apparently. Because you’re exposed to your brother or sister’s hobbies and interests, some studies say, you’re more likely to have a better idea of what the opposite sex likes and wants. Of course, this heteronormative research only applies to heterosexual relationships. But in his book Strangers in a Strange Lab: How Personality Shapes Our Initial Encounters With Others, William Ickes suggests that if you were raised with older siblings of the opposite sex, you were more likely to have easier conversations with romantic interests. This, however, seems to not help us anymore as a lot of pre-assumed, gender roles and double standards have started to rumble down before our eyes. Boys and girls are not that commonly found to be liking traditional games/items/hobbies that we would’ve expected before.
But apart from them, you do get an idea of how it’s like to live with a boy/girl!