Being a sibling is tough, for older and younger alike…the instant requirement for an older sibling to share things having not really had to before, material things such as toys, food and bedrooms as well as emotional things too, love from parents, attention from family and friends.
Then theres so many for the younger siblings too (I know as I’m a younger sibling), constant comparison’s against older siblings progresses, expectations to just “get it”, whatever ‘it’ is and the dreaded default hand me down of any clothes of your brother or sister that fits. Its enough to create sibling rivalries as such a young age whether we as parents mean it or not. As the saying goes though, anything you can do, I can do better.
That said, are these rivalries necessarily a bad thing? If you look at our two, they have there moments however more and more, I’ve seen our youngest, D, mimicking some of the traits, sayings and mannerisms of her older brother. Things like;
- Wanting to drink out of typical cups and sit in the main dining room chairs rather than her Tripp Trapp.
- Ditching her typical toddler type toys for more ‘older’ ones such as LEGO and a Scooter
- Getting herself dressed in the mornings and evenings alongside H
For me though, rather than sibling rivalry, I believe its actually “sibling trust“ which is the key driver for this. D trusts H implicitly, she adores him, he adores her, yes they squabble but what siblings don’t. However its that love and admiration they have for each other allows D to trust the actions of H and to, where possible copy him at a much earlier age than what we saw with H, who other than his own experiences, and the encouragement of us as his parents, had nothing else to help guide and learn him.
Things such as swimming lessons, I vividly remember when we first took H, he cried for several lessons before he finally trusted the instructor and situation however due to his ongoing lessons, D has taken to it instantly like a duck to water and is not only excited to be joining her brother during their weekly Friday lessons (albeit at differing ends of the pool) but is more than happy to be jumping in, kicking and moving her arms just like her brother has been teaching her each night in the bath.
It really is a lovely friendship which they are developing and one that really is helping D to flourish in her development. It’s not just a one way street though, D’s “no fear / naive” approach to certain things also helps H and his slightly “in-public” shyness to be brave and stand out more so people can realise and appreciate the creative and fun loving 6 year old he is.
I’m sure they’ll be plenty of falling outs as they get older but I’m really enjoying seeing their relationship blossom and go from strength to strength right now. Long may it continue….
Until next time