Concerning Kids – What we can learn from siblings


Christian Life

Anna Gnatyshyna, CNE.news

Three siblings. Photo Unsplash, Claire Press

The more the merrier, except when it comes to siblings… That is the popular idea about family life with several children. A brother or a sister can be either the hugest blessing or the biggest challenge. But whatever it may be, truth is that we are always shaped by the relationship with our siblings.

For example, brothers and sisters teach us already at a young age that we are not the only ones in this world who want attention, affection and approval. See hence the concept of competition.

Sibling rivalry will eventually lead to arguments, jealousy, and sometimes even physical fights. While it might seem like just a part of childhood, sibling rivalry can have long-term effects if not handled well. What we learn during our childhood, we often apply later in life.

For example, if we learn that we always get our way over our siblings by complaining loudly, we may become whiny managers at work later in life. Or if we do not learn how to overcome our jealousies, these emotions may hinder us at the workplace when our colleagues receive more promotions than we do.


Parents play a crucial role in teaching children how to deal with these situations, so the kids can apply these lessons later in life. Fathers and mothers have to be good managers of the family. After all, they are raising the Christians of the future.

One lesson they should teach their children is the one of equality. All people are created in God's image, even though they may have different ages or skills, they all have the same infinite value.

It's important for parents to be fair and not to show favouritism. My mother often did it by spending enough time with each kid separately. When she was hugging me, she would say “I love you so much as my oldest daughter”, and my brother would hear “I love you so much as my only son”. And my youngest sister would hear that she was so loved as the youngest one. Therefore, we as kids did not ever fight for love, as we knew each of us was uniquely loved.

The rules were the same for all kids despite the age difference. If somebody had to be disciplined, it was always about his own behaviour. Each kid knew that the oldest or the youngest had no privileges.


Another lesson that children should learn from their parents is how to resolve conflicts on their own. And of course, this solution should be fair to everyone. It is not me who should get all the toys as a child, but my brother or sister should get his or her share as well. And we can solve this problem by conversation. Do you see the parallels with adult life? It is not only me around whom the world revolves. Instead, I should always consider how my decisions are impacting others.

However, the greatest lesson having siblings can teach us is the one of unconditional love. If everything goes well, many siblings grow out of their rivalries and develop strong, supportive relationships. They often become each other's closest friends, sharing memories and experiences that only they truly understand. They learn how they can speak about their emotions and share their feelings with others. And above all, they learn that love is not dependent on mere feelings, but that it consists of a sustainable bond. Definitely a lesson we, as adults, can apply to our relationship with our brothers and sisters in faith and those beyond that!



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