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The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

Siblings: An advantage you can’t beat

By the time they turn 11, children devote about 33% of their free time to their siblings. That’s more time than they spend with their friends, parents, teachers or even themselves, according to a Penn State University study.

Further research discovered that even adolescents, who have begun giving more thought to a world outside the realm of their houses, devote at least 10 hours a week to activities with their siblings. That’s an ample amount, considering that with school, sports, social relationships and sleep, there aren’t many free hours left.

And these hours are put to excellent use. Children with siblings reap benefits that those without are deprived from. People who have been gifted with siblings should appreciate the many assets their sister or brother have unknowingly granted them, rather than stereotypically bash their siblings.

Siblings provide a world of advantages, by giving their brother or sister social skills that single children could never achieve, and an unparalleled environment to interact with each other and learn. And still, people criticize their siblings for their annoying and constant presence which they cannot help. The presence of a sibling can seem like a drag but really it’s an asset in life.

People often argue with their sister over whose shoes belong to whom, or with their brother about why he should give them a ride home. It can seem impossible at stressful times such as these, but siblings must appreciate each other. For in every single one of these arguments people gain something.

It may seem as if one has lost a pair of shoes to their sister, but really they’ve gained the insight to keep a better eye on their possessions. And it may appear that one has been forced into walking home with a tremendous backpack, when really they’ve decided to become more organized about figuring out their way of transportation.

Focusing in chaotic environments becomes progressively easier with siblings constantly present.

Sometimes people are required to work next to a gum smacker, or a pen clicker during tests or at work. Because of a previous noisy sibling, its an easy problem to solve. Simply block out the noise.

People need to recognize these coping skills they learn from their sibling, rather than relentlessly complain. Part of being a family is appreciating it, and many siblings need more of that.

Some may say that their siblings are forever and will always be an annoyance, and that parents and friends can give you as much social practice as you need.

Although parents do spend sufficient amount of time with their kids, it’s nothing in comparison to the long hours siblings share. Siblings are not as mature as parents, and force their brother or sister into resolving more problems on their own than parents can. Having a sibling keeps one constantly interacting, and pushes people to their limits and encourages them to accept and resolve conflicts.

Siblings grow and mature together. They won’t be a pester forever. Siblings do nothing but enhance one’s life, by teaching in the most unusual and, sometimes, unpleasant of ways.

And despite all the wonderful lessons they teach, people are still frustrated with their siblings. It’s natural to get angry, but at the end of the day one has to remind oneself of the magnificent benefits one receives from a sibling.

So next time your younger brother smears peanut butter on your homework, or your older sister sits on your phone, don’t get angry; instead, why not try a thank you?

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