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Love between brothers and sisters, sisters and sisters, brothers and brothers – by blood and by marriage – is one of those loves that can pretty much withstand anything.
With our siblings, we like to test the boundaries. One of the pros is that we feel free to be ourselves – uninhibited silliness, uncensored conversations, unconditional love. One of the cons is that tact goes out the window – thoughtless throw away lines, harsh judgements, boisterous fighting are commonplace.
Somehow, despite our siblings seeing us at our worst, they continue to love us anyway. Marriages might break down for lesser crimes of the heart, but sibling love is very forgiving. With strong family foundations, it can last forever.
While growing up, despite giving himself permission to hurt me with horsebites and chinese burns, my brother was very protective of me. Noone was allowed to hurt me physically or emotionally, including my parents. As the little sister who was always getting herself caught up in some kind of drama or other, this suited me absolutely fine.
The strength and security he gave and the patience and kindness he showed me meant I was always able to stand my ground with bullies, even though we didn’t go to the same school.
According to Susan Krauss in Psychology Today, siblings resolve a range of issues, from the mundane to the emotional, in a variety of ways.
“They may rationally debate a solution to their conflict or scream and fight until someone gives in. However they manage it, even as young children, siblings have to find ways to live together. In the process, they start to establish patterns that emphasize either cooperation or hostility.” – Krauss
Along with our parents’ influence, this apparently shapes how our close relationships unfold in later years.
What was your relationship with your sibling like in your younger years? Were you supportive of each other? Or were you always at war? Do you think it’s influenced your future relationships?
A 2012 study on sibling rivalry claimed that intervention by mothers and fathers can cause long-term emotional damage and found the best thing they can do is set clear household ground rules for their youngsters (Alex Gore, Daily Mail Australia).
Tricky business for parents huh?
But that’s enough on sibling rivalry, it’s time to celebrate sibling love and all the joys it offers …
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Celebrate sibling love now.