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Benefits of Siblings

Is It Better to Provide Your Child With a Sibling?

Here's a post from our partners at BabyCenter! Every week, we bring you the best parenting and lifestyle stories from the experts at BabyCenter, including this post about the benefits of siblings.


I don’t remember life before my sister. But, I do remember stuffing her in between the crack of her bed and the wall. And, leaving her. And, thinking life was better that way.

Of course, we are older now and best friends. It's hard to think about life without her. What if she had never shimmied her way out of that bed crack? It doesn't bear thinking about. (Though, I'd imagine none of my Halloween candy would've ever disappeared again.)

Related: What Parents Can Learn From Steubenville

Siblings are wonderful, except when they're not. We laugh, entertain and protect one another — from issues as bizarre as who is forced to eat the last piece of Banana Tofu Pie (yes, things like that happened in my house) to who is forced to sit with the other at lunch because no one else at school will. I protected my sister with only my wits and a hairbrush once. (Long story.) We phoned each other deep into the night to complain about boys and our parents. Come to think of it — who do children complain to about their parents if they have no sibling?

But, she also stole my candy, my parents' attention and my sanity. She claims I even stole one of her friends, but I would maintain that I had no idea that she was already friends with him before I became friends with him.

Sometimes, I wonder what my son's life will be like without a sibling. He has a sister, but May is severely disabled and, despite adoring her, she will never be the kind of companion in life that mine was to me. She takes up so much of our time already, I worry about him losing even more to a needy infant. He isn't even two years old, and already he entertains himself. Which is both wonderful, and a bit sad.

In his case, I'm not sure the benefits would outweigh the negatives. But, perhaps, like I do — he will appreciate the presence of a sibling more when he is older. When we have to stay at home with May and he would like his family to join him at a big event. When he just wants to laugh with someone, or head to the pub to complain bitterly to someone who will understand why his parents are so strange. Or later, when choices about May need to be made and he is making them on his own.

There's still time. I'm only 40.

Do you think the benefits of a sibling outweigh the negatives?

More great reads from BabyCenter:
Having It All by Choosing to Stay at Home
Some Days My Kid Won't Like Me
Liz Lange's Tips For Date Night Glam While Expecting
Will You Share Your Family's Story With Your Kids?
Texas Female Lawmaker Scolds Breastfeeding Moms

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