Having Siblings Makes You A More Empathetic Person, According To A Study

Those lawsuits that drive you crazy will end, and they will never overshadow the beautiful trace of empathy that coexistence between siblings brings.

My 13-year-old son and 10-year-old son love to play soccer, but their passion is so great when they play in the garden, that they inevitably end up fighting. And so, we have to sit these two sweaty brothers to settle the differences, in the hope that the next game will be more civilized.

I love that they play together, but I can’t help the overwhelm that it gives me to see that they go to the garden, because I know that the episode will inevitably repeat itself, one day for a foul, another day for the corner kick, and another because of their little brother two-year-old prevented a wonderful sweep, just before winning the game.

However, these frequent moments between them and my other children (13, 12, 10, 7, 5 and 2 years old), although they drain my husband’s and my patience, we forget when we notice some noble act between them.

When my 12-year-old daughter shows the tables to my 7-year-old son, and encourages him to read (even if the chosen topic is “terrifying tales”); when my oldest son makes my 5-year-old laugh, (even if this happens while dragging her across the floor holding her legs and mopping all the rooms upstairs), or when my 10-year-old son goes to look for me in the yard to tell me to sit down and rest for a while, because he is going to finish hanging the clothes I just washed, my heart fills with love and gratitude.

Surely you at home have a thousand moments like this to tell. And now, thanks to a scientific study ,many more advantages are put on the table that are generated at home through coexistence between siblings. 

The most relevant thing is that these advantages are bidirectional , and this is the wonder for me: they show the immense flow of wealth that the big brothers exchange for the boys and the boys for the big ones.

What does the study indicate?

This study, conducted at the University of Calgary, Université Laval , Tel Aviv University, together with the University of Toronto, appears in the journal  Child Development and was carried out on more than 450 Canadian families through direct observation of interactions between siblings, and interviews with their mothers.

The younger siblings in each family ranged between 18 and 48 months, and the methodology allowed to know the expected result in the levels of empathy and growth throughout the subsequent 18 months with their older siblings.

One of the conclusions of the study was that «Beyond the influence of parents, older and younger siblings positively influence each other to foster the development of empathy and connection

Sheri Madigan, a researcher at the University of Calgary and co-author of the study, says that ” the results emphasize the importance of considering how all family members, not just parents and older siblings, contribute to children’s development ” .

The family, source of wealth

Yes, siblings are not only friends and companions for life, but also drivers of a harmonious and comprehensive development for each member of the family.
So when you despair over the screams, hats and misunderstandings at home, breathe; This daily coexistence that sometimes sparks, is ground gold for the wealth of parents and children.
Furthermore, it forcibly introduces us to the most beautiful realities of life, which may otherwise be lost from sight. We tell you some:

Love grows by sharing

It is normal for family dynamics to suffer with the arrival of a new brother,it is necessary to adjust the roles. Some have more responsibilities, others have to wait for parents to take care of the little ones, but in a short time, the noises and tenderness of the newborn or their graces, conquer children and adults, demonstrating that beautiful reality : love multiplies, and leaves room to love with the same love each new person we welcome.

If you have recently received a new baby at home, try to talk a lot about it, and always have cuddles and caresses ready for the elders (including the husband). Also be ready to order and receive them, since you will surely be exhausted.

Surely you already experience that beautiful wave of love that causes not only the aroma, but the mere presence of the new baby, filling your life with a new magic.

You are not the only one in the world nor the most important

It is common for parents to make the mistake of giving our children what we never had. In families with several siblings, this is – in my view – one of the most valuable gifts: they are highly loved, but they are not always the priority.
This reality collides with the natural egocentricity experienced by younger children, and helps them to measure needs, and many times, to be supportive themselves.
They will not always be able to go to everyone’s favorite restaurant, but they will be able to go each time to have each other’s favorite food, so that everyone learns to wait their turn, and to taste the preferred tastes of family members.

It is important to learn to live together and give in

I love the moment when all my children have to agree to watch TV together. We have discovered great baking shows, we have laughed at the best jokes for children on YouTube and we have enjoyed amazing television game auditions.
The dynamic in which everyone has to give a little to find content of common interest always fills me with emotion, and I am sure that it forges in them the beautiful value of generosity and empathy.

There are more important things than “having”

When having more than one child, it is necessary to learn to divide time, resources and our attention. We are also forced to define what expenses are important. This makes us parents and children value more the company, the shared moments than the terrible consumerism that invades us.
What other advantage would you add to our list of gifts that families receive with the presence of many siblings? Tell us!

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