- Category: Volume 85 (Fall 2013 - Spring 2014)
- Published: 02 April 2014
An Older Sibling Perspective on Sibling Rivalries
There is nothing in the world that compares to family. For many of us, no one knows, understands or loves us like our siblings and other family members.
However, no matter how much we love them, sometimes there is no one who gets under our skin more than our own family.
Sibling rivalries are a tale as old as time; sisters battling over clothes and shoes, brothers duking it out over a girl or constantly trying to one-up another, and it seems like there's always the annoying elder sibling being way too protective or a younger sibling hiding in a shadow.
As the oldest in a family of three younger brothers, I can relate to many of these struggles. As hard as it may be to admit, sometimes we may just need to cut our siblings some slack.
When we are young, we fight over toys or silly games; who gets to ride shotgun in the car; who wants to watch which channel on television or what type of breakfast everyone wants mom to cook.
Then we grow older and fights occur over more adult issues; someone owes money, someone said something hurtful or does not agree with life decisions that are being made.
As the older sibling especially, it is easy to become very over protective over our younger siblings and develop the mentality of "I know best." However, we may not necessarily always have the answer.
I believe one important thing to remember is that while our siblings are some of the closest people to us, our own flesh and blood, they are still their own person and may be very different from us in many ways.
What we liked or did and how we got by growing up may not work for our siblings.
No matter how close we are with our siblings, we still need to let them be their own person which is not always easy to do. Especially once we are all growing up and becoming adults.
Younger siblings probably have a hard enough time trying to live in their older siblings' shadow and live up to whatever accomplishments they achieved, the least we as older siblings can do is let them be their own person.
On the other hand, younger siblings could benefit from acknowledging that sometimes we cannot help but act like the "annoying older sibling" but we only do it because we care.
We watch our younger siblings grow up from bottles and diapers to cars and college, and sometimes we would prefer to hang on to the earlier and easier times.
Like a mom or dad, I just want what is best for my younger brothers and I want to see them succeed in every aspect of their life. I am sure any elder brother or sister can relate to that.
I believe that at times, it is equally difficult to be the younger or older sibling. Just remember, blood is thicker than water.
Siblings will probably always argue, compete and disagree, but the love they have for each other will outweigh those things.
So for those who are older siblings like myself, remember that our younger brothers or sisters are their own person and may not always make the same decisions we did.
As older siblings, we need to let our younger siblings make their own mistakes and learn from them, if they aren't already learning from their older siblings' mistakes.
For all the younger siblings, remember that we older siblings just want to protect you and want the best for you. You are welcome to learn from our mistakes, that's what we are here for. I know we sound like parents but it is the truth.