We all know that friend that suffers from “Only child syndrome” and according to Adler’s theory of birth order, it does in fact affect how successful you are through many different ways (Krohn 7). Others believe that other consisting factors influence how successful you are and can be in life. “Thus the timing, sex, and number of children each provide a different condition in which elements of socialization occur” (Lamb 1). Taking the following into account, it would make sense to think that a child would react differently due to weather or not they have a older sibling and whether that sibling was a male or female.
The gender more likely leads to the connection to the child and directly influences the personality of the individual. However many people do not realize that many first borns behave or have “only children” like tendencies due to the fact that they are the oldest. They were taught by adults and were not surrounded by child influences until they had already surpassed the stage that a younger sibling would have attributed to. By becoming a sibling, and more importantly an older influence, a first born child will take on a leadership and more authoritative personality due to the nature of siblings.
While some do not realize it the birth order determines a lot of your own personality. Many will say that firstborns are leaders, determined, middle children are forgotten or left out usually quiet, and how could we forget the attention seeking last born child. Some of which could be true many kids take on the roles that are given to them and every child is treated differently due to many impacting factors. All together though birth order has a very large dynamic and an outnumbering scale of effectiveness and relation to an individual’s personality.
Children with siblings benefit and show higher performance skills compared to an only children, however; the size, personality, stages of life and theories that support this change the benefits on each individual child. Children with siblings benefit in a wide range of areas like experience, dealing with physical and mental illnesses, and performance abilities. Siblings ultimately give the life experience from dealing with people to manners and how to act in public and your reactions to the world. Having siblings gives a child great learning experience such as situational experiences like negotiating or the use of helpful skills (Lamb 15).
Siblings allow a child to learn in a multitude of ways, one of which would be learning from their mistakes as well as following in their footsteps. Many crucial experiences make a person who they are. For example, going to the first day of kindergarten, but not being afraid because you have the support and protection of an older fifth grade sibling. Siblings in close age, or just siblings in general, might have a better knowledge of experiences to benefit the child (Cicirelli 1). Siblings allow experiences to become easier; however, it does not just benefit the child that is watching, but the child who is experiencing it themselves.
It teaches them how they can improve next time or how to be a better example or leader to their siblings both older and younger. Some benefits of having a sibling go far beyond experiences and support, but rather a childs health. There are quite a few chronically ill or handicap children in the world. While few know or believe in the idea, chronically ill children benefit from having healthy siblings, no matter the age or gender Having siblings helps with support through chronic illness (Lavigne 1). Children born with or diagnosed with a chronic illness show the best benefit of all.
It allows the child to become healthier whether it be mentally knowing they have support, or physically having someone there to take care of them, and even emotional providing that connection and safeness that comes with that type of support. According to Lavigne, boy siblings showed a more emotional reaction during treatment compared to female groups Showing how a child would react having an ill sibling(1). The greatest support that comes from having a sibling during a chronic illness is just the connection and love from one another.
The performance skills of children with siblings shows a great deal of the specific areas in which children benefit. The most obvious of those benefits would be the experiences through communication. While many studies show that only children are superior in intelligence, siblings are superior in experience problem solving and having a better personality (Poston 1). Some factors that help when it comes to how and when a sibling performs better due to having a sibling present when doing something. Whether making a decision or even just having them there it helps over all.
Most siblings would agree that what they have learned from their siblings has allowed them to excel in many different areas. Many kids learn a lot from authority figures in life such as their teachers, parents, and coaches, but some don’t always have to be older or dramatically older. Siblings that are close in age when it comes to beneficial matters are about the same as parents and their teaching abilities (Circirelli 1). While having siblings has many benefits that outweigh the negatives some things to take into consideration are the basic needs of an individual child and how siblings and the multiple varieties can affect them.
The “Dilution model” is the theory that the less children you have the better quality of life they will have (Blake 1). This would particularly be focused on the intelligence of the individual child. The idea of having less kids was brought to the attention because of the idea that if you have less children or even just one child can focus solely on that one child and make them very smart. Because they get that attention, of who it will make them succeed at what they want to do in their life.
It is believed that the more children born into a family, that the less time you spent with each one causing a disadvantage to them, making them less intellectually smart compared to some only child who gets more attention and all the things they need in life and are not deprived of anything. The “dilution model” also states that because one doesn’t have siblings that it is not a negative influence on their life (Blake 2). This is quite contradictory because overall where only children lack in one area they can thrive in another and the same for children with siblings.
Being an only child is not the worst thing that could happen to you. According to Blake “being an only child is widely regarded as a significant handicap” (Blake 1). Some agree with this statement but there are many that would disagree. It’s been proven that an only child is more intellectually smarter than children with siblings but not as excellent in the areas of development of interactions. “Only children are becoming very popular in today’s world”(Lamb 9). This is due to the fact that it is cheaper to have one child and many see the intellectual benefits of being able to give one child full attention at all times.
The number of children that have no siblings continues to change which is commonly due to the economy and living situations of every family. “… Only about 10% of children have no siblings at all” (Lamb 1). This percentage is a representation that allows people to compare how many children have siblings versus being an only child. Throughout the different stages of life siblings can have a greater impact on the individual. Things that are learned or experienced during a childhood could affect how a child does something in the future.
During childhood it’s a greater chance that the individuals siblings had a higher effect on them and their personality. Children at a young age are impressionable and can retain knowledge that may or may not become useful later on in life. No matter the age while having siblings the support they provide is consistent, siblings can help with many situations and issues (lamb 1). There comes a time between childhood and adulthood where influence on a sibling’s life will begin to change it will transition from a teaching or observing effect to a more supportive and helpful effect.
Personalities of children with siblings are usually much different than those of only children. Children with siblings are said to be more of a team players and more helpful to others, whereas only children are said to be selfish and attention seekers. The number of siblings a child has can change a number of things from personality to even the effect of the sibling on one another. The age becomes a huge part in the theory of mind because it makes the theory larger. “… Those who had siblings ages 12 months to 12 years outperformed only children in both experiments”(Peterson 1).
The only time when siblings become inconsistently effective is when the age gap becomes too large and it’s not as easy to make a connection. The gender also plays a role on the effects on the child whether it be same sex siblings or opposite. This difference affects the entire relationship the siblings have. However, between the ages, genders, and personalities of different siblings it doesn’t give us a flat answer as to how every set of siblings personality will be like. The advantages of having siblings greatly outweighs the disadvantages.
The connections and support is something significant. While the experiences absorbed through siblings may not always be fun or perfect, it allows the child to see a experience before they do which everyone does not always have that opportunity to do. Overall having siblings is one benefit that you either have or not and it most definitely an amazing experience and opportunity. The greatest benefit is the continuous support and experience you get to have through having a sibling. Personally having an older sibling is a great experience.
Not only do I have a bestfriend who is stuck with me but I’m also able to learn from him and his mistakes or even how to be a better person. The fact that I am a girl and I have a older brother it’s of course the stereotypical he is a protector, but it’s also a much different than if I were to have an older sister. I think the most negative thing I could think of about having a older brother is the huge age gap we have because we were super close when we were little then were complete opposites for a while.
Going into adulthood we are starting to really get close and it’s probably because we both had matured and are leaving our teenage years and having real lives. While the age gap and gender are both big factors in how my brother and I have a relationship it’s amazing to have what I have. I think it is the greatest benefit of my life. Siblings can change your life and nobody should have to be deprived of the experiences, support and many other benefits that come with being a sibling and having one.
Overall children with siblings benefit in a multitude of ways from showing higher performance skills and much more. While many different influences make us who we are. I think the greatest influences are the people you surround yourself with. We don’t always get to choose our siblings and we might not always like them but they are apart of us in many ways. I for one am very grateful for the experiences and opportunities i’ve had access to do to the fact that I have a sibling.