By Cameron B.
With National Sibling Day gone by recently on April 10th, the age old question of whether or not siblings, especially younger siblings, have any benefits in childhood and adulthood. Immense amounts of studying has been done on one of the simplest of relationships, siblings. Having siblings in your life has many pros, but much like with anything, it has some cons. Here is everything you need to know about what you are getting if you have a younger sibling, or what you are missing out on, and what you are lucky for if you don’t have a sibling.
Cons: Why People Without Siblings are Lucky
You Fight A Lot
Fighting with your siblings is likely inevitable and fights are likely to happen a lot. This can arguably be the worst part about having a younger sibling especially if you and your younger sibling have conflicting personalities, this can be quite a problem. Although this fighting is not all bad. This fighting can be beneficial because, both you and your siblings are better at dealing with conflicts, and generally can be calmer because of fighting.
Sharing of Parents Resources
Since there is more than one child, parents have less resources to be distributed. This can mean that not all of your University costs will be covered, you might not be able to do as much extra-curricular activities, and travelling will cost significantly more meaning you travel less. Along with less money circulating around for you, your parents also won’t be able to dedicate as much time for you.
Parents are More Cautious with First Born
Since first born children get to experience things first, generally parents are more cautious with what you are allowed to do, such as what TV shows you are allowed to watch, how late you can stay up to, etc. while younger siblings when they get to your age, generally have more freedom.
Under More Pressure
There is more pressure on the first born child to set a good example for younger siblings and to be mature, and responsible in situations. Although this can be a good skill later on in life, you generally get blamed if something goes wrong because you ‘should have known better’.
This can be both a pro and a con. Additional responsibilities can mean more money, if your parents pay you for chores, and as an added plus you get valuable life experiences. But the added pressure can, as mentioned before, leave you to receive a lot of blame for when something goes wrong.
Pros: Why People Without Siblings are Missing out
Siblings Help with Social Skills
As mentioned above in the section ‘You Fight A Lot’, all the fighting between you and your sibling(s) can help develop social skills. These skills can not only make you better at avoiding fights with other peers, but can also make you more calm.
Having a Sibling of Opposite Gender can be Quite Beneficial
Having a sibling of opposite gender can make boys be more sensitive and have better listening skills, while girls are generally less serious. Also having a sibling of opposite gender can also help you in romantic relationships with an individual of opposite gender because of you being exposed to the other gender.
Relationships with Siblings are the Longest Relationships in our Lives
For the most part, a relationship with a sibling can last from the beginning of life to the end. It is also said that even in adulthood, siblings still spend an average of 11 hours per week with their siblings, meaning that you and your sibling(s) can be very close ‘friends’.
Having a Younger Sibling can Actually Increase Your IQ
A study done in 2007 found that generally the oldest sibling had a higher IQ than their younger siblings. This is so because the first born child usually gets the most attention from their parents, allowing them to pick up a variety of different cues. And on a side note, younger siblings are more likely to get lower grades than older siblings.
You can Learn from Each Other
According to a 2014 study, siblings learn from each other during playtime (when younger). Specifically siblings learn how to count, write with chalk, and interact much the same way that students and teachers work together.
You are More Likely to Live a Happier Life
A 2010 study shows that life is just generally better with a sibling. The study found that siblings are better at avoiding depression, and lower the risk of delinquency.
Although in childhood, siblings can be quite nasty, the pain is worth it. Siblings gain many benefits from each other, and can support each other in times of need. This list has just a few of many, examples of the pros and cons of having a younger sibling.