Monday, 15 November 2010

Better together?

Like all siblings my children have their spats, they rough and tumble, they have been known to have a bit of a kick out at each other and there is definitely some teasing and name calling going on. If they did this to other children I would be called into school on a regular basis, and rightly so, but is this wrong when it happens at home?
A study on family life by the Institute for Social and Economic Research at the University of Essex indicates the fewer siblings children have, the happier they are. The report says that one of the reasons only-children appear more confident and content is they do not have to deal with ‘sibling bullying’, with almost a third of those with siblings saying they are regularly hit or shoved by a brother or sister.  Many children with siblings also complained of their belongings being stolen and being called ‘nasty names’ by a brother or sister.

This is just so sad - The family is a loud, mad place to live. Siblings relationships are really special - you can hate each other one minute but unite against the world the next.  I know that I might tease my little sisters (and often did do) but no-one else dare be nasty to them - or else!

Households with a single child now outnumber those with two by more than half a million in the UK, making up 46 per cent of all families. It will be interesting to see how all these children grow up.  Yes - they can be monsters but my children bump along alright, they understand about compromise, other people's feelings and taking turns (although the negotiations may be loud and furious). In some ways the teasing and fighting at home is a safe dress rehearsal for real life. But it's probably up to me to balance the relationships so that the home doesn't turn into a war zone.


  1. Sibling relationship can be tough. I think they learn to get along better by having to figure it out with their siblings.

  2. It looks like you have great children - I love that pumpkin photo! All my kids are older, and the last one will be out of the house in less than two years. I've been worn down at times but it's been worth it.

  3. That last photo is BRILLIANT! A real keeper.

    I don't know the answers, each family is so unique, no matter how many siblings.

    But I am glad I grew up with my sister and I look at my Dad, one of 7, and they all turned out great.

    It's easy to blame sibling relationships for our own failings as adults, but really it is within ourselves that we find the answers.

    I see my children learning so much as they grow with their siblings. It isn't always plain sailing, but on the whole they are developing so many more positive attributes to their personalities, as opposed to negative, through their relationships.

  4. I was a lonely only for 11 years (not a spoiled only). The positives for me were being able to entertain myself easily. I was never bored and had a great imagination (which may be more about personality than lack of siblings -- I don't know). But, I desperately wanted a sibling to play with and share experiences with.

    As a parent I knew that I would never want only one child. I love having two kids who are the best of friends (even though they fight at times...). I agree that you can learn so much through sibling relationships.

  5. PS: I would have been fine having only one child if that's what happened, but I'm saying I, personally, would never have intentionally made *the choice* to have only one child.


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