SIBLINGS Our worst enemies and closest friends


Browsing through the internet, you will find many articles and research papers on how parents, friends and teachers influence and shape the life of a child. However, there is one relationship that is seldom talked about while discussing a child’s development-•‐ the sibling relationship.

Growing up in a family of 4 siblings, my childhood memories are those of endless fights over the television remotes, stealing each other’s clothes, threatening each other about revealing each other’s secrets; but always having each other’s backs in times of “parental crisis”.

Siblings provide the comfort of knowing that someone will be there at your best and your worst. As much as parents shape personalities and thought processes of a child; confidence, trust and social skills often develop through playing with siblings. After all, siblings are your first best friends for life!

As parents, it then becomes our responsibility to foster, nurture and strengthen this bond between siblings and here are a few tips that one can use:

1.      Never Compare

It is never a good idea to compare siblings! As parents, sometimes this comparison may be very natural. Example when parents say, “My elder one had started writing by now” or “I never have to spend as much time teaching my younger one as I did with my elder one”. These statements may at first seem harmless, but may have a deep impact on a child’s self esteem and hamper the sibling relationship.

2.      Make sure they spend time

The absence of technology often leads to siblings inventing and creating play! At a young age, allowing siblings to spend time with each other, playing both physical and board games provides the space to develop trust and furthers play skills.

3.      Allow them to problem solve

Sometimes, allowing siblings to parent each other and solve each other’s problems promotes independence, trust and responsibility in their relationship. It also helps siblings become each other’s heroes.

4.      Treat them as unique personalities

It is important to keep in mind that no matter how similar or different your kids may seem, they are unique individuals with distinctive personalities. Their interests, strengths and weaknesses may be very different from each other. As parents, it is our responsibility to promote and further their individual strengths. Expecting one child to be like another may be very natural but, it is definitely not healthy.


“The greatest gift our parents gave us, was each other”


“The greatest gift our parents gave us, was each other”