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Positive Influence Of Siblings

Siblings Support Each Other

If there’s one thing that puts me over the edge at home it’s dealing with the girls fighting.  It gets noisy, doesn’t always resolve right away, and certainly stirs up feathers.  But I recall from my counseling training that allowing siblings to argue wasn’t all bad.  As long as they weren’t hurting each other emotionally or physically, this “exchange of ideas” was a healthy thing.

When left to their own devices, they found ways to solve their conflicts and make up with each other eventually.

I have tried to follow this concept with my own kids so they could learn these important relationship skills.  While it concerns me when they fight, I’m keeping with this direction for the long-term benefits.  So far, they seem to have generally good affection and have each other’s backs.

Sisters Provide Protection Against Depression In Study

I found a fascinating article today on the positive influence of siblings.  It even speaks to this concern parents often have about siblings fighting.   They found a connection between sibling affection and good deeds, an outward sign of the positive influence siblings have on each other.

In particular, the study cited in this article reported a protective effect against depression.  Adolescents between ages 10 and 14 that had a sister seemed to not feel so lonely, unloved, or several other negative feelings.  Just having a sister seemed to be helpful no matter how old the sister was.

Siblings Have A Unique Relationship

Even when you figure in how much parents matter, it seems that siblings count in totally unique ways.  This makes a lot of sense.  Siblings are in the unique position of being one of the few people someone may know for their entire lifespan.  They are also the only people that can relate to being their generational peer and having the same parents.

The study did not state whether any of the families in the study were from blended or single-parent families or how the protective effect might be different in those situations.  But it still underscores the unique bonding opportunity siblings have.

Support Positive Sibling Relationships

So if they fight, let ’em fight.  Just be sure they find ways to make up and love each other when it’s all said and done.  Parents, I’d love to hear your stories about your kids being there for each other and having each other’s back.  Also, share your own positive experiences of growing up with a sibling.

Creative Commons License photo credit: Nina Matthews Photography

Positive Influence Of Siblings

Erika Krull, MS, LMHP

Erika Krull, MS, LMHP is a practicing licensed mental health counselor in Nebraska.

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APA Reference
Krull, E. (2010). Positive Influence Of Siblings. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 31, 2020, from


Last updated: 4 Aug 2010
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