It’s hard not to be insulted sometimes. I was speaking to an adoption practitioner recently and she asked me why I thought it was a good idea that a black orphan from Haiti should join our family to compete with 6 white siblings. “What for? You have 6 already ?” She asked.” Someone might think you are collecting them.”…I’m not even going to go there today. Instead I’m going to talk about the power of siblings.
I know that children can influence other children heavily. The news we read on any given day can attest to that. Now let’s go to siblings. Siblings share a most special bond, a powerful bond. They can be one another’s encouragers, friends, frenemies, the people who teach to forgive, share, love, serve, bless,and sometimes…. hide 😜. There’s a familiarity with one another and an unabashedness that surfaces when they are around one another. Together they will act completely unlike you have ever seen before in each other’s company. My husband is one of 7 and let me tell ya there are some things that have surfaced at family gatherings that the siblings think are hilarious and I think are totally GROSS😝. Other times the rivalry can be a lot of fun,especially around 💦 water.
The typical time I see jealousy ( not competition) is when a child gets a gift and it’s not their birthday,or it is their birthday,or when I take one of the 6 out on a special date and this is usually a short-lived kind of jealousy cuz they know their turn is coming soon. This is a learning curve too.
I feel that my children learn good sportsmanship through their companionship whether they are playing street hockey,chess,cards, track,etc,and they are often with other friends or strangers in these moments as well. They can cheer each other on, advocate for one another,stick up for each other,be mischievous together, and sneak attack their parents.
They learn a lot from one another. Many times I’ve had my hands in the batter of something and a younger child has been taught a math formula or a new word by an older brother or sister. Sometimes they can be great teachers.
Sometimes I am confused by the negative questions from social workers about our large family. I always have to point out that I was a single Mom for over a decade and my only child at the time was alone a lot . He always had to be at a friend house or invite someone over or day camp, daycare, babysitters etc. He begged me over and over for a brother, it was sad, because I couldn’t give him that.
Now I have this amazing Tribe of people who are my family and who are so excited to adopt someone in and give them a humongous part of ourselves so that they can enjoy and live out what we have and it just isn’t happening.
I remember reading a news article that summed up what it was like to grow up as an only child in China. The number one thing that they said they would change if possible , was to have a brother or sister in their life so they weren’t so alone all the time. They somehow sensed that there was a special connection they could have that was different from a friend.
I’m sure I’m just touching the surface here on the Power of siblings here but I just wanted to offer a different perspective.