Many times in therapy we explore our relationship with our parents and how it affects us. Let’s face it, since parents are our role model and the people we learn to find security from, it is always intuitive to explore the relational dynamics between us and them. Not very often we talk about our siblings. There isn’t even a Sibling Day! Also, doctoral researchers have found many correlations between birth order and personality traits. And if you look into this matter, you might find yourself checking those boxes.
Siblings are our first play mates, we learn to socialize from them, we learn to fight dirty from them and we learn to forgive and forget with them. How many times can you remember the fights you had with them. I surely cannot remember all and I bet my license on this that the number is significantly high. I love and hate my siblings at the same time. My personality is partly due to being a middle child and growing up with sisters in the household. Sometimes they act like our parents and this triggers us, especially if we had a difficult and complicated relationship with our parents. There are days when I just want my sisters to go away because they are so overwhelming, but then the little voice in my head says “better be nice because next time it will be your turn to overwhelm them.” However, our siblings also tend to be a little more understanding and nurturing compared to our parents, because they know what it feels like to be you, growing up in the same environment, and they don’t have that burden to “not screw us up.” Or, if you were separated from your sibling(s); blood ties us together so you are more inclined to want to get to know him or her a little more.
Very often, they can be insufferable but we are still connected to them. You can be angry at them as much as your want but they will still love you just as much as you love them. There are so many complicating factors to our relationship with our siblings, and sometimes it is not as clear cut as it seems. Parents, it’s ok that your children fight, because we do whether we are 4 years old or 44 years old. Maybe your task is to help us fight right and make sure we don’t actually go too far.
Want to understand and figure it out more, please feel free to contact Aileen at Aileen@insightnewton.com