The sizes of households are fast declining. From large villages for families, now we live in a world where a family constitutes three to four members. Despite the changing trends, the sibling equations have continued to remain the same over the ages. It cannot be denied that siblings are necessary for a holistic growth and development of every child.
Sibling Rivalry is like a little melodrama of its own. Forever entertaining and keeping the audience awake. The elder siblings always complain how they are disciplined more and have to be more duty bound to the parents. They have a constant woe that the younger siblings have it easier, as the path is already laid down for them; the parental barriers have already been breached. While it might be true that they have their own set of griefs, we should dispel this false belief that younger siblings have a gala time, instead of the reality that they face.
Here is a list of ten things that every younger sibling will easily identify with:
1) Model of the house:
There were so many times when you were used as the model of the house. Whether it was the most recent wrestling maneuver or a new makeup trick as a younger sibling, you were always the readily available and easily deceived guinea pig. The younger siblings deserve the official title of being the family’s punching bag.
2) Those perilous fights:
No matter how many times you tried to save yourself or hit the heavier blow, the elder sibling always got to you with a heavier hand or a sharper jab. Remember the times when the older sibling would overpower you with just their weight and height? Or even worse when they would sit on top of you and make you immobile. With all that practice at home, you were always prepared in case you got into some ‘friendly’ warfare with someone outside the sanctuary of your humble abode. Yes, we had our crocodile tears in handy whenever the sheer intensity of the blows became too hard to handle. The look on the faces of elder siblings when they are scolded for hitting a ‘child’ stays etched in our memory, forever inducing glee.
As the TV was watched as per your older sibling’s timings and choices, you never knew what the kids your age were watching. So many countless talks would be spent with dazed expressions because you did not know about the latest fad that children your age indulged in. You would always be reading things that the seniors read or watching shows that your sibling’s age group feasted on. The younger siblings always have more in common with the age group of the elder sibling than their own, due to the constant effort of getting along with each other at home.
4) Personal Bodyguard:
Despite all the mess created at home and the innumerable complaints that siblings had from each other, whenever needed, the elder sibling would undoubtedly always stand in front of all your adversaries to save you. Remember the time you got in a fight and then scared your opponent with the threat of complaining to your elder sibling? The younger siblings always have the nuclear weapon of summoning their elder siblings whenever things got too ugly, who would come equipped with their arsenal, and sort out the chaos.
Well no matter how rich or poor one is, the hand-me-downs are a central trait for younger siblings. Whether it is school uniforms, winter clothing, baby clothes or anything else that has not been properly torn by your elder sibling, all of them will invariably find their way to you for use. It’s a bonus that we almost always know how to wear them in our own style. And can we really deny how wonderful we look in the borrowed clothes of our siblings? Sadly, by the time the ownership changed, they would surely become drab and less ‘cool’.
6) No risks for you:
By the time the younger sibling came along, parents were already done taking all the risks, practicing their parental chores and knew how to go about the tasks of parenting. They always even had help from the elder siblings. All the disciplining would be exercised on the elder child and the younger siblings would be left on their own due to past lessons. How can we forget that the younger siblings always had the same babysitter, the elder ones?
7) Makeshift entertainer:
As the younger sibling you are always the makeshift entertainer of the family. In case of a party or gathering, it is very likely that you were forced to put up ‘performances’ and made to entertain the whole lot of people with your antics. The fact that you were the younger sibling meant that you would always be the most teased, the crowd pleaser, irrespective of where you are.
8) Experiences life in fast forward:
As you have elder siblings to look up to and experience a part of their lives, younger siblings always tends to go through the same life experiences like first kisses, first crushes, first partner, first pimple, break ups etc. sooner on the age-line. The elder siblings provide a buffer and help the younger siblings gain wisdom from the mistakes they make and give them a constant inspiration to be better or at least different from them.
9) Servant of the house:
Whenever someone needs a physical task done any guesses as to who was beckoned to perform the job? Whether it is fetching a glass of water, or making a quick snack or cleaning up after, being at the beck and call of your elder sibling is a never ending role play, especially when the elders were not watching. Servitude is considered our duty, even by our parents!
10) More love:
Somehow the younger siblings always get more love, in quantity and quality. Considering that they have the elder siblings as well to shower them with love, to dote on them and pamper them, there is plenty of love, even though sometimes we feel smothered by it. There is always our agony ‘aunt’ or ‘uncle’ to offer us sage advice on issues that they must have faced themselves or knew someone who did. Due to a bigger village raising the younger sibling, the life seems only more colorful, without a day going by when you did not feel like crying and laughing from the pit of your stomach, in the gap of few hours .
No matter how much we crib or hate that the love and attention of our parents was shared between us siblings, the truth is that life is definitely better with each other. We can love them, we can hate them but we can definitely not live without them.