Let’s Talk About Siblings
Let’s talk about siblings. As mentioned in previous posts, Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman’s Nurtureshock discusses several topics that are of interest to most parents. Chapter 6 of the book dispels the idea that being an only child has detrimental effects on the development of social skills.
Now, I may be a bit biased considering I have 8, but I have always been an advocate of having more than one child! The authors explain that contrary to popular belief, children with siblings are no better off in terms of developing social skills than an only child is. The relationship between siblings is a very different type of social interaction because siblings are siblings no matter what. While I do think that there are many benefits to having siblings, I agree that the sibling factor probably does not have a huge effect on how children relate and interact with their friends. From my perspective, the most important "social influence" is your child's peer group!
If you have more than one child, why do you think they fight? What makes our children get along with each other? While my kids have had their fair share of fights, I have always tried to encourage them to play together and love each other. From the time my children were very little, I consistently told them, "You are not allowed to hurt your brothers and sisters.” This has worked for me!