Are siblings going to be friends for life?
Has it ever occurred to you that there are special elements involved in our curiosities when we want to know more about someone? The purist form of this is watching kids migrate to one another or being naturally repelled by one another. How do our kids know why they like this friend more than another or have a strong distaste in someone else...?
These inner senses and observations never leave us but rather become more particular & specific as we discover who WE are. When my kids are playing together, there is peace for as long as they don't feel threatened by what the other wants from them. As long as they feel that someone is affirming their person & state of mind & acknowledge or relate to their expression of an internal experience...they are happy & they have fun.
There are elements in others that make me feel safe enough to share myself with them...my thoughts and my ideas. When kids feel that this friend (sibling or not) is contributing to "their journey" of discovery & share their view of the same situations, instead of directly & constantly opposing it, they find no reason to leave that friend behind.
Kids execute everything...they DO their thoughts & DO their ideas...so this process of do "I like you?" happen quickly for them & reaches finality fast. As we get older though, talking & debating takes over much of our doing so we learn to weave small things about ourselves into a conversation. With this we gauge the response of people to know if "who I am" is welcome here. As our conversations or experience of someone continues we allow more & more of who we are to surface. Based on how this is received we either work on an exit strategy or exchange ideas of how to get together again to share MORE of who we are.
Siblings are faced with this situation in an almost unfair way. They have to discover who they are in the presence of another trying to discover who they are. It is easy for us as parents to feel they ought to share the same love for one another as WE love them.
This can put pressure on our kids whom might find it very hard to connect with a sibling. It is very possible that brothers & sisters would NOT naturally find themselves in the same room or share environments if they weren't related...& would actually avoid one other just like they avoid other people in the same natural way.
Why is this even a topic of discussion to begin with for me?
Because at some point a parent will ask...
1. Is there a solution to a seemingly endless conflict among my kids...?
2. How do I know if this is just a phase my kids will go through & will end up loving each other @ our Christmas dinner table (like I love them) when we are all older?
As a child I did not have an invested parent to demonstrate & start the cycle of respect in our home. The realistic result of this for me as an adult today, is that I do not get along with my siblings at all. I have no contact with them in the same way I have no contact with any one that I don't feel safe with. My Biological family don't respect one another.
Siblings do not own the right (just because they are related), to say things to one another that they would hesitate to say to anyone else. This is possibly the heart of the matter. RESPECT. If we can feel respect...we can give it, but someone has to start the cycle.
Our kids have a beautiful opportunity to learn how to respect another person...only if we show them how that works. I recall a conversation with a parent of an only child one day, whom remarked... "I don't think I can have more children...how can you love another child the same way...?" I said "The funny thing is you don't love any one "equally"...you love each child like they are your ONLY. Is it possible that we want our kids to love one another in an equal manner?
One of the most beautiful observations of families for me, are those that have seemed to accomplish the virtue of respect for each other, in one way or another.