Lifestyle

Studies suggest having a sibling can impact your weight, education and even your marriage!

Friends may come and go but your sibling is there forever!

There’s no two ways about it, you are who you are because of your sibling. This statement isn’t anything new, but now research has reiterating what we long suspected – growing up with your brothers and sisters has had a powerful effect on your life.

Here’s how…

7 ways having a sibling has shaped who you are as a person

Siblings teach you social skills and how to resolve conflict

Studies suggest having a sibling can impact your weight, education and even your marriage!

By the age 11, kids will have spent around a third of their time with brothers and sisters, so it makes sense that your siblings shape the person you become.

A sibling is you first playmate and often your oldest friend when you are an adult, and having a sibling teaches you important social skills and how to resolve conflict.

Experts have dubbed this the ‘Sibling Effect’.

Siblings teach you empathy 

Studies suggest having a sibling can impact your weight, education and even your marriage!

Numerous studies have indicated that younger siblings teach empathy and older siblings may affect how well you do at school – and no one knows how to push your buttons better than a brother or sister!

In fact, research shows that having a sister makes you a better and healthier person. Sisters help make you more well rounded, kinder and giving because sisters often show love and affection more than brothers do.

Siblings help you develop your language skills

“Siblings are often a child’s first play partners,” researcher at Concordia University Nina Howe told Fatherly.

“I think of the sibling relationship as a natural laboratory for learning how to get along with people…

“Helping one another in language development, social interactions, how to stand up for yourself, learning to share.”

What’s more, by the time you hit adulthood, if there’s an older-sibling power dynamic, it pretty much ends and everyone becomes more equal.

“Whatever jealousy or anger that siblings may feel toward one another,” Howe says.

“There’s pretty good evidence that it doesn’t last very long.”

Siblings help you with your education

The oldest siblings tend to become the richest and most successful, claims researcher

Having an older brother or sister may also improve your outcome at school.

“There is some literature suggesting that siblings help each other with schoolwork when the parents themselves are not well-educated, or cannot help because they don’t speak the language,” says Howes.

Siblings can influence your weight

Lots of research has found that obesity runs in family but it also looks like siblings play a role in your weight.

A 2014 study by researchers at Duke University discovered that in families in which the older child was grossly overweight, the younger child had a greater chance of also being obese – regardless of whether the parents were overweight.

This may be partly due to the fact that younger siblings tend to model their diet and lifestyle after their bigger brother or sister.

Another study also found that kids who get a younger sibling before they reach school are ‘significantly less likely’ to become obese later on.

Siblings may help your marriage

Remarkably, being part of a big family may make you less likely to get divorced! Or that’s what a 2013 Ohio State University study has found.

Findings indicated that for every sibling a person had, their chances of getting a divorce decreased by 2%.

Other studies suggest that individuals with a sibling of the other gender are more romantically competent, and boys with older sisters endorse more egalitarian gender roles.

Meanwhile, researchers At Brigham University, found that women who have brothers are better in dealing with the opposite sex compared to those who only have sisters or were the only child.

Siblings can decrease depression

Having a brother helps lower your stress levels, study finds

Close sibling connections are associated with lower levels of loneliness and depression, and higher levels of self-esteem.

And brothers and sisters often pull together to navigate difficult life events, such as the illness or death or a parent.

“Very often, in older age, as people near the end of their lives, they reconnect with their siblings,” adds Howes.

“This is the person that you have known longest in your life, and you have a shared history. Remembering, what was mom like? What was dad like?”

Do you have a sibling? How did they affect your life growing up?

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