Sibling Relationships

J wants to know about the quality of relationships between siblings with a small age gap versus the quality of those with a large one. Her respondents are Filipinos living in the Philippines, so here goes...

The larger the gap, the greater the chance of a "generation gap" -- you'll probably go for different movies, gossip about different celebrities, read different books. In other words, you'll be out of sync.

There will be moments, however, when the younger sibling appreciates the much older one if the elder sibling accompanies the younger one to a movie, for example. Or what about the time you were bullied... wasn't it great to have a much older sibling to protect you?

If you focus on relationship-building, though, smaller gaps are better. It's easier to speak with one another, get advice, or even share secrets. While most parents would like to think they can influence their children, it's actually the peers who have more influence. And usually, the age gap is small in a peer group.

A similar thing happens when siblings have small age gaps. Check out who huddle together during family reunions, and you'll notice a pattern when it comes to wrinkles and gray hair.

Although it's better to have smaller gaps between siblings, this "advantage" thins out as the children grow older. Afterall, the "gap" between a 20 year-old and a 10 year-old won't seem as great thirty years from now, right?

What about you? What was it like growing up with your siblings?

(Happy New Year to you, too, Jacs!)
[ First posted on 01/05/2004 by Manuel Viloria ]



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