Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: amazing north idaho
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hmmm....that's a good question. It is hard to generalize, but here's my observations
My younger sister and I are about 17 months apart. We were good friends in childhood, became very different people during adolescence and generally don't agree on much now. However, she is my friend, no matter how much we agree to disagree. There are many things we just don't discuss anymore, but she has always been supportive, even if she doesn't understand why I am choosing/doing something, and I try to do the same. We were raised to care about each other - our house was small, we shared a room until I was 12, and we just learned to get along. We were not allowed to be unkind to each other as children, and if we were not getting along, the worst consequence my Mama could give us was to separate us (one to our room, one to hers) until we were begging to be together again.
My DH has an older brother and older sister, and they are not close. They manage to be civil to each other at family gatherings, but that's about it. DH and his brother are often verbally unkind and disrespectful to each other in the heat of a debate, and only recently have the two of them made some kind of peace. His sister has recently started initiating visits and getting together at other than the required "family holiday" times. As children, they each had their own room, plus a separate kids play room and outdoor playhouse...so they never had to learn to get along in a shared space or with shared playthings. For a number of reasons, there was not a lot of consistency in discipline or limits for the kids interaction with each other, and the kids were allowed to be unkind or physically hurtful to each other. At various times, each child was either the "favorite" or the "problem", and it still bothers all of them. Respect was not well demonstrated....all three of them have had to learn it on their own.
My own children (almost 4 and almost 2) are kind and gentle to each other, most of the time. We don't allow them to be hurtful or unkind to each other, but I don't tell them "you must like your brother"...I just know they will have to learn to get along because they don't have any other option in our family.
Just my two cents
....living, learning and loving everyday with the Sweet Pea Bridgade