Let’s talk about what it’s like to grow up with sibling(s). My husband and I both grew up with four siblings (I’m fourth and he’s fifth in the birth order). Therefore, we spend a lot of our conversations talking about our sibling relationships and what they mean to us. Take a moment and think about your childhood experiences growing up in your family household. What was it like? Was it a chaotic or quiet atmosphere? How many siblings did you grow up with? Were they all biological siblings or were some half and/or step siblings? What did these relationships mean to you when you were growing up? What do they mean to you now?
Connections are made while sharing common interests with siblings that friends may not fully understand. How many times do you get together with your sibling(s) and share tender moments, funny memories, and interesting experiences only shared by you and your siblings? I enjoy the times when I get together with my siblings and share fun times that we had growing up. Laughter, tears, and other emotions are shared through these experiences. I will never forget what it was like when I lost my dad to cancer almost two decades ago. I felt that no one other than my siblings understood my pain. At first I felt that I was the only one going through a difficult time with my grief, but when I spoke to my older sister, she shared that she was having a hard time too. I felt such a relief that someone understood what I was experiencing, and it was comforting to talk to her about it. Same thing happened when I lost my mom almost two years ago; again, my sister was there for me to talk to and although our grief was somewhat different, she understood.
Siblings grow up having similar personality and physical traits that become more predominant as they transition into adulthood. This is something that is not shared with friends, spouses, or other extended family members. Staying connected with your siblings can be challenging as everyone becomes ‘busy’ with their familial lives, however it is imperative to place concerted efforts to stay connected. Although my parents have left their earthly lives, my siblings and I stay connected by getting together monthly (without our children). It’s a time to share a meal together, laugh, cry, and play games. This may be challenging, but if we keep on trying, it keeps us connected.
Here are tips on other ways to stay connected with your siblings:
A strong positive connection with siblings can build trust and dependence on each other, especially during challenging periods of your life. Keep them close and encourage your spouse to do the same.