Should sibling relationship, like wine, improves with age? It is definitely every parent’s wish that it be so, but in real sibling relationships, things are not so rosy. Why is it so? When siblings are young children, they are usually innocent, they have less emotional hang-ups, they are less self-centered. With such admirable qualities rivalry is at its minimal, life is more peaceful, relationships more cordial, harmony rules the days, warmth for each other is more easily fostered.
When the siblings grow older, the first wedge appears in this warmth and cordial relationships. The need to look better than the others, the desire to outdo, outperform, outshine the other siblings brings on the onset of self-centered behavior. This egoistic, self-indulgent behavior if allows to continue unchecked would cause sibling unity to disintegrate, the oneness and harmony in the family to crack.
When the siblings start setting up their own families, disruptive dimensions are added to unity equation. The siblings’ spouses and later their children add more complications to the sibling relationships. The differences in personalities of the spouses, their willingness or otherwise, to make adjustments and adaptations to accommodate others in the family are possible causes of friction..
Later, each sibling’s love for his own children, his instinctive urge to protect his own off-springs drive the wedge deeper into the widening gap. Jealousy usually rears its ugly head at this stage of life also. Feeling jealous of each others’ financial positions, of the parents’ occasional show of affection or attention towards another sibling or the perceived favoritism of the parents for other siblings or for another sibling’s off-springs cause the gap to widen considerably. Desiring to keep up with the other siblings causes further strain on the already fragile relationship.
The passing away of the siblings’ old parents is often the cause of great quarrel among the siblings. This is usually the final straw that breaks the camel’s back. More so if the old folks leave behind money or properties. The fight over the inheritance, the desire to have a bigger share of the properties, often makes the break permanent. This is sad, this is definitely the reverse of what all parents dearly hope to see happen.
It is hope sibling relationship is like old wine, it gets better with age! If one is born into a family, it is only logical one must have affinity with others in the family for who can be closer than one’s own brothers and sisters. One should keep this in mind, then maybe the squabbles would not escalate and harmony can be maintained.
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