The bond that siblings share cannot be explained or replicated. The connection that comes with sharing the same parents, growing up together, squabbling and playing together and knowing each other inside out makes it a unique and everlasting bond. It may be a unique bond, but that doesn’t make it a simple one. Sibling relationships are dependent on a variety of factors, and they are as different as the number of sibling pairs/ groups in existence. It looks like parents have a lot to say about having a brother/sister, or raising more than one child. This week’s Parenting Decoded deals with Sibling Revelry, so read on!
1. Welcome, Dear Sibling!
A child’s journey as an elder sibling starts even before the birth of their younger sibling. The first reaction of a child when they see their younger sibling is something to be cherished, something that makes you realize that your family is complete. And sometimes, these reactions also induce hilarity and sweetness, as Prasad NP experienced.
2. An Early Bond
Kids, in their own way, get excited when they come to know about the arrival of their younger sibling. Along with this happiness is the obvious insecurity about being dethroned from their VIP throne. This is when the parents need to step in, even if they have their hands full with the new baby. Take a cue from Cynthia.
3. How To Love All
It is a given that siblings will love each other. Like all valuable things, this bond between siblings also has to be nurtured and conditioned by parents. You might know in your heart that both/all your kids are equally precious to you, but if this come across in your behaviour, one of them will start feeling disgruntled and resentful. Keep Rashmi‘s tips in mind to avoid sibling rivalry.
4. First Frenemies
Do you think calling your sibling a frenemy is taking it a bit far? But what else will you call a person who you fight with then make up and can’t live without? Ritu Lalit shares the frenemy experience she had with her brother and also witnessed in her children.
5. Grass Is Greener On The Other Side
Being an elder brother or sister is a huge responsibility, because you are always told that the younger one will follow your cue, so ‘behave yourself’. But do you stop to think that the ‘elder’ one is also a child herself, and the mantle of big sister can change the way they live their childhood? Meena Bhatnagar writes about her experience.
6. Playing Favourites
Regardless of how old children get, they will never grow out of the complaint that the other child is their parents’ favourite. There are people who think elder siblings have it better than younger ones and there are those in the opposing team. Well, Sunita Rajwade has also faced this complaint from two generations but believes that both arguments have some merit.
7. Sibling Rivalry
The title of this post may be Sibling Revelry, but that doesn’t mean we can wish away sibling rivalry. Kids are bound to be compared to their brother or sister, and this comparison can lead either to low self esteem or an inflated ego. Indu tells us how she made sense of sibling rivalry when it came to her twins.
8. Big B In The House
Who doesn’t love having a big brother? Having the protective arms of an elder brother around you can mean the world to you when you’re young. Little boys have an uncanny knack of being protective when it comes to their younger siblings, which just needs to be tapped into by the parents. Ashok Chandrashekhar discovered this at the unlikeliest of places.
9. Rakhi Ke Bandhan Ko Nibhana
There is no greater representation of the bond between brother-sister than the day of Raksha Bandhan. The deceptively delicate ‘kacche dhaage’ of the rakhi are just like the bond between brother and sister. Gauri Venkitaraman discovers the various shades of being siblings through her children.
10. Nipping The Rivalry
We use the term sibling rivalry very casually, and take it for granted that it will happen in every family with multiple children. Dr. Chander Asrani goes a little deeper to investigate, and shows us the symptoms and causes of sibling rivalry, which shouldn’t be encouraged in any family.
11. An Equal Childhood
It is common knowledge that kids take most of their behavioral traits from their parents. Siblings may be as different as chalk and cheese, but it is up to the parents to make sure that both chalk and cheese feel equally loved. Contrary to normal perception, this doesn’t mean giving them the same things, but equal love. Vibha explains.
Rare is that pair of siblings that doesn’t fight or annoy the living lights out of each other. Parents may crib about it, but they secretly enjoy these mock fights. As is the case with every fight, parents need to be the judge as well as the referee. Nimi Arora sets some rules for the fight.
13. Growing Up With Rules
Siblings may spend their early years joint together at the hip, but as they grow up, they realize the concept of ‘private space’ and ‘invasion of privacy’. It’s cute to see siblings being all up in each other’s space, but it’s important to set some ground rules to ensure that the house doesn’t become a war zone. Here’s what Meena Bhatnagar did.
14. The Sibling War Zone
You know what the best career for siblings is? Wrestling! They spend so much time biting, kicking, scratching, yelling and creating drama that being a WWE champion should come easily to them. And then when they grow up, they make a tag team and turn against their parents too! We’re sure Ritu Lalit will agree.
15. Parents Under Fire
Parents of more than one child find themselves caught in the middle of the crossfire. Not just between their offspring, but also between happiness on seeing the siblings together and pulling their hair out over the kids’ fights. Gauri Venkitaraman expresses this parental state though a nutty poem!
16. All Grown Up!
Siblings are frenemies when they’re little, but grow up to be friends with the strong foundation of shared parentage and memories. Watching your sibling grow up, make something out of their lives and find the perfect partner is an incomparable feeling. Shruti writes a letter to her brother who is on the threshold of marriage.
These were the gems we found on sibling rivalries and revelries. Say what you might, growing up with a sibling is one of the happiest parts of one’s life. Kids might not realize it, but some of their best memories are with their brother or sister. What are your best memories with your siblings? What kind of siblings are your children? We’d love to know your sibling stories in the comments below!