Like most people, I LOVE the holiday season! I love seeing my family, eating good food, taking a break from normal life, and relaxing. This year, I got to see all of my cousins on both sides of my family! What a blessing! I made a point to ask all them if they got along with their siblings, and to my surprise all of them said “no.” This shocked me because I have spent time with them and their siblings and it seemed like they all got along just fine. So rather than make them feel awkward or push them on the topic, I simply responded by encouraging my cousins to make an effort to get along with their siblings and said that I had faith they could get along better with their sibling in the new year.
Later, I was telling my older brother about these instances and he simply laughed and said “good for you!” I was a little confused by his response until he elaborated by explaining that people never seem to expect siblings to get along. He had a great point! Honestly, I always remember getting along with my brother growing up. Sure we had fights and moments when we weren’t best friends, but overall I would say we definitely were more friends than enemies. However, whenever people found out that we got along well they seemed to be very surprised. I remember always being so confused by this reaction because I thought that that was what you and your siblings were supposed to do…be friends. It wasn’t until a few days ago when my wise older brother told me that people don’t expect siblings to get along that I understood it. Think about it…if someone asks a 9 year old boy if he gets along with his 6 year old brother and he says “no,” the typical response is “Oh of course not! My brother and I fought all the time!” It is so rare for people to encourage young kids to get along with their siblings!
So I am taking this blog post to share some breaking news to kids and parents: SIBLINGS CAN GET ALONG! I know plenty of people who love their siblings and are probably reading this going ‘obviously Marie…’ but I also know plenty of people who are probably reading this thinking ‘LOL yeah right! I can’t stand my sister!” I don’t know if it was because of my parents or not, but my brother and I have always and most likely will always get along. Some practical advice I have for siblings out there is to avoid holding grudges. I know my brother doesn’t hold a grudge that I once threw a Maraca at his face and chipped his tooth and I don’t hold a grudge that he once tied my favorite stuffed Barney to my ceiling fan, turned it on, and laughed maniacally like a Sith Lord shooting lightening bolts into my heart as I cried and screamed because my beloved older brother had been completely seduced by the Dark Side. (Sorry we have watched a lot of Star Wars this past week.) Regardless of this complete betrayal, my brother was my hero and best friend growing up, not my enemy.
Here can be your first New Years Resolution: if you and your siblings are the best of friends or even if you don’t have the best relationship with your siblings, I encourage you to remind the next generation of kids to try as hard as they can to get along with their brothers and sisters! Don’t pass along the mindset that it is okay and normal to dislike your sibling/s, teach them that their siblings could be their very best friends for the rest of their life.