Why Brothers Should Bother Sisters

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Almost no one likes it when their sons bother their daughters.  Boys can be rough, mean or just plain cruel to their sisters.  Sometimes, especially if they are older than their sisters like my son Jonathan is (he’s 10, his middle sister Elena is 6 and Briani is 1), you have ensure that your son doesn’t bug his sister too much, or worse, hits her.

No parent ought to tolerate that a brother hits his sister (or vice versa) but I want to tell you that I think it’s really good that he bothers her.  Why would any parent ever endorse such a thing, you might ask?  The reason I think it’s good is because I think it toughens our daughters.  Too many times I see parents treat their girls as fragile porcelin dolls.  That’s too bad because I’ve lived long enough to tell you that, based on my experience, girls who have brothers that actively bothered them growing up have a stronger chance of having healthier marriages and attitudes towards men.  (Yes, my brother and I have a younger sister and it’s served her well in life).

My son can be a big pain with his sister Elena, often times making fun of her or just plain provoking her so she gets in trouble with us.  But do you know what has happened? Elena has developed a stronger personality for it.  She’s learned to fight back.  Sometimes Elena will even throw a proverbial rock across Jonathan’s head and hide her hand.  The spunky little thing is a foot shorter than her brother but she is looking more and more like she’s ready for the major leagues of life. Unbeknownst to them, brothers who constantly bug their sisters are indirectly helping them develop a stronger understanding of what makes men tick.  They’re making them more resilient.   It makes me silently pleased to see Jonathan bothering Elena but don’t tell either of them that :-)

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  • Melissa Sustaita

    A child’s development is greatly impacted by their sibling(s), especially if they are close in age as they may spend a significant amount of time together. Based on birth order and family structure during critical developmental periods of their life, children are undoubtedly influenced by their siblings on a social-emotional level, which may effect attitude, behavior, interpersonal relationships, and individuation. So, whether it be brothers bothering sisters or vice versa, they can each teach one another a thing or two about life, and probably won’t realize it.

    As for women who grew up with pestering brothers having better relationships later in life… 1) Healthy relationships should not equal marriage and 2) Healthy relationships should not equal having children. Healthy relationships include how someone relates with friends, family, colleagues, and intimate partners. Healthy relationships are shaped by much more than an annoying sibling, or parents for that matter. As one develops (individuation), s/he comes to a point in their life where they choose which behaviors/ attitudes/ traditions they want to carry forward with them from their original family unit, and what they will do differently. Observing healthy relationship practices within a family is the most beneficial for anyone – sons and daughters. These include: open communication, conflict resolution, personal responsiblity, support/ encouragement, autonomy, trust, and unconditional love.

  • Pingback: Classic video of my daughter whacking her brother | PapiBlogger - Your Guide to Creative Parenting Tricks

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