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How does older siblings impact early years of their younger brother or sister?

How does older siblings impact early years of their younger brother or sister?

Older siblings can impact their younger brothers and sisters tremendously!

It has already been established that older siblings play an important role in the lives of their younger siblings. There are a lot of studies and researches done on the subject. A new longitudinal study also looked at whether younger siblings also contribute to their older sisters’ and brothers’ empathy in early childhood, when empathic tendencies begin to develop.

Younger siblings usually tend to copy the body language, walk, words, speech, choices, likes, dislikes and much more as their older counterparts do. A lot of time the learning method and learning age are very much same for the siblings.

Interestingly, having an older sibling also gives a sense of security and daring attitude to the younger ones. They tend to share a certain level of sharing, bonding and problems that they might not share with their parents. They learn openness and truthfulness together. They tend to learn same language and periodic jargons. Older siblings also teach a great sense of responsibility to their younger brothers and sisters.

Studies have found that the oldest child tends to be much more parent-oriented than his younger siblings. The vast physical, social and mental developmental difference between the oldest child and his parents can cause the oldest child to develop feelings of inadequacy and a need to achieve. This may be one of the reasons why older children tend to be more anxious, more achievement focused and more driven than their younger siblings.

Studies have also found that gender and age differences among siblings do not have a significant impact on the development of close relationships and that the benefits of a positive sibling relationship result in positive behavioural outcomes as the children grow up. In other words, less delinquent behaviour is associated with a positive relationship between brothers and sisters.

Other longitudinal studies have found that positive sibling relationships that begin in early childhood endure into adulthood.

To summarize;

  • Siblings play an important role in the development of overall behaviour, in children’s style of conflict behaviour and in cooperative fantasy play.
  • Family factors are closely involved in the quality of sibling relationships–and thus in sibling influence, namely differential parental behaviour, and the emotional climate of the family. That is, it is important to consider the sibling relationship in togetherness with other family relationships.

Studies of families under stress indicate heightened importance of overall family behaviours with each other.

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