Sibling relationships have been as universal pursuings in the human existence as any other facet of their living essence. And yet they tend to be viewed at least equally- if not majorly- in that understanding of what is dubious almost a distinction of sibling rivalry. There of course is no refuting the more than valid grounds in which ‘enmity’ between siblings most definitely stem- with everything from the adorable or irritating childhood scopes of play to more serious considerations mostly of later life references providing premise for brothers and sisters to war against and amongst each other. But they still are essential ambits of the existence in which we dwell, as anyone who has been blessed with the companionship of a or many siblings would attest or even those without these after or before borns of same parents would know in much despair indeed of a yearning curiously evoking in itself.
For those having a brother or a sister or any and many of them, their siblings are indispensable parts of their life or even their identity. That might sound like carrying the sibling importance a bit too far but it still is a much universal truth. As people we spend the formative years of our life with, it only is certain that we tend to be quite alike to our siblings. That, even when we are very different from them as well, at least as different as our own unique personalities would allow us to be.
The difference might go on to be even more glaring presentations in and by themselves but it even would be the influence of such diversity that has indelible impacts upon our growth and emergence as individuals related still by a very strong bond of both physical and emotional defining. And so we exist side-by-side, often under the same roof as essences in contrast at times and sheer similarity at other, even when harmony might not be always the character of that togetherness, spanning a relationship dynamics unique indeed in their availing to only the siblings of the world.
Unique therefore would be the sibling relationship also in such terms of occurrence that navigate between their residing both the friendly and familial feels. As a more ‘secure’ perhaps exploration in the desirable friends turned family connotation, though coming to be instead the other way round through this narrative, the children of a family avails for themselves a very privileged position indeed. And yet even in this residing in seeming convenience, there also can be associated a corresponding understanding in not much likeability after all.
As people you are ‘stuck’ with, at least till the time you are unable to assert your existence independently, siblings can also be quite a pain to bear. The more common and ‘normal’ proposition though is that occurring also in pretty much every spectrum of relational existence, marked by a sometimes rewarding, otherwise taxing experience in living. Thus every single awareness in which we live the entire duration of our life is impacted by the kind of relationship we have with our siblings. Be it our emotional health or social existence and of course more vitally the personal perception of the bond shared, having a sibling enriches our lives in ways that we do not give much of a thought to.
Of course relationships being curated by emotions greater than the entailing of them as biological entities hold even in the context of the sibling connection. But there would always be an additional dimension in shared experience that siblings related by not just the heart but also by birth can vibe in. Be it in the dwelling of them in essential togetherness at least in the earliest years of existence or them feeling a certain similar obligation in calling the same family their very own, ‘true’ siblings do indeed ‘dictate’ our lives in much prominence.
First of course is the sense of connection that one feels merely by having someone identifying in the same generational character as ourselves. Even in sibling with a considerable age difference, they still vibe because they are always and at least more akin in terms of generational residing than their parents or other elders in the family. This exploring in companionship itself is one that makes sibling relationships so unique and necessary. With everything from loneliness and boredom taken care of to more physical ‘essentials’ of a playmate or a friend dealt with, having someone to call as one’s very own brother or sister makes for quite a world of difference to a child.
It also in such understanding of companionship that our sibling leads us also to be both more aware and acknowledging of the need of other relations and friends to live out life. With them always in our lives, we come to crave indeed the connection and even presence that a real human being holds in themselves as their valued essence.
Essentially then, siblings helps us emerge as more sociable beings in our lives. And while being social might not always be an exciting idea in itself, it still is a life skill that we need to build. Siblings helps immensely in fostering that ability of being able to deal with and dwell in the real world. With them, we evolve to understand almost innately the requirements in living as a social human being. That’s because no matter how similar or different we are from them, they still are individuals in themselves meaning they are indeed yet another extension of the world as well.
Having a sibling also makes us well versed in the nuances of an awareness one cannot but avoid in their living. That relates to the much complex fore of attachment. As something that we feel towards something or someone we cherish, attachment though runs also the risk of being way too assertive to such extents that it spans instead as toxic. How the sibling relationship in our lives can help maneuver, if not counter the unwanted consequences of overattachment is again something that plays out through the peculiarity of it.
The love between siblings might be undisputed but the rivalry between them is uncontested as well. It is out of such (in)famous identity in brotherly or sisterly association that we come to learn quite early on in life how to cope with the extreme experiences of attachment. Fight and bickering and argument between siblings is a universal truth and one that simply cannot be avoided no matter the extent and essence of the profound love they feel for each other. And in such occasional but certain occurrences of the irritation overpowering the fondness even when momentarily, we are led to develop the ability to not become overly attached and dependent. That is something everyone of us needs to learn so as to not let our emotions be overbearing on our selves. Quite a life lesson to credit our sibling ‘teachers’ with in learning.
Sibling-ing also prepares us for the diverse roles that we would have to take up later in lives. As the older child, our position might lead us to develop such skills that can evolve to emerge as leadership traits. For someone lower in the rungs of age and birth, their identity in the sibling count manifests as a later life requirement in living up perhaps to expectations harboured of them, typically matching up to the older child. It is important though to note that while the nature of such occurrences is indeed universal, the order of their proceeding need not essentially be of that character. But what follows still out of this spectrum of human relationships would be such requirements in existence itself that serve indeed quite a purpose of different leanings.
It of course isn’t only the occurrence of sibling relationships as a case in experiential learning that is what makes them such essential somethings to hold on to in our lives. For not everyone might have a sibling and they still seem to be no any worse off in living than any of us better endowed perhaps. Nor will everyone essentially have such a bond with the other children of their parents that might be the dynamic experience that it is believed to be. Some sibling relationships might be utterly dysfunctional, others might quite bafflingly be always and forever be steeped in the cares of them without the associated worries. And yet, sibling relations never cease to be a case in intriguingness.
Be it the revelation in a ‘same same but different’ character of living or expressions in such significance manifesting as the ‘older child syndrome’ among many such others, the bond between the children of a family has always spurred some interesting dynamics in relationships. What might be striking in a more surprising kind would be also the underlying issues that might be in fact afflicting also the relationship, often through childhood. In this latter case, it becomes essential as well to disassociate from that endowed identity, making for yet another learning experience quite unique in this fore of its expressing. With myriad influences worked into thus this relational of the siblings, the impact of this bond upon our person is considerable indeed.
It might be the standard in expecting that sibling relationships are mostly steeped in love and affection and fun and harmony, even when allowing for the occasional strays of anger and frustration to manifest. But considering the extent of the greater identity that sibling rivalry makes for, it sure is certain that one would not always get along with their brothers or sisters even when one is very much like them in terms of upbringing and conditions and situations of living. Even in sharing our genes and our parents, we can be as dramatically different from our siblings as we are from pretty much every other individual.
The probable ways and means through which such differences come to be would also be something specifically characterising siblingship. From having to ‘compete’ for the parents’ attention that isn’t exclusively and only a first child experiencing despite popular perceptions pointing to that precedent to experiencing indeed differently different events even when they are the same occurrence in that very environment, siblings turn out to be individuals indeed very, very different from each other.
Even then, sibling relationships happen to be fulfilling in a certain kind of way. That perhaps is something availing from the duality through which this assertion of the relations leads one to experience in terms of the emotional. Think for example the requirement in sharing that occurs as a very natural way of life, first encountered perhaps by a child in their siblinged identity. The prospect might be exciting when it comes to sharing one’s time and play and memories and even material things probably but the latter of these cases might not be a proposition always welcomed by one and all. In this and numerous such happennings of reference, the sibling bond therefore connotes a specific realisation that wouldn’t be exactly encountered in any and many of the other human relationships for sure.
oldest child syndrome