Tuesday, July 25, 2006
It's All Doug's Fault
When it comes to check-out lane reading material, I am not a Time magazine type of gal; give me InStyle or Real Simple and I'm good. But the July 10th issue really caught my eye and I had to take a copy home with me - the cover said,
HOW YOUR SIBLINGS MAKE YOU WHO YOU ARE
Hm. So, here's some interesting quotes from the article...
"From the time they are born, our brothers and sisters are our collaborators and co-conspirators, our role models and cautionary tales. They are our scolds, protectors, goads, tormentors, playmates, counselors, sources of envy, objects of pride. They teach us how to resolve conflicts and how not to; how to conduct friendships and when to walk away from them. Sisters teach brothers about the mysteries of girls; brothers teach sisters about the puzzle of boys. Our spouses arrive comparatively late in our lives; our parents eventually leave us. Our siblings may be the only people we'll ever know who truly qualify as partners for life. 'Siblings', says family sociologist Katherine Conger of the University of California, 'are with us for the whole journey.'"
I was also comforted to read that childhood fights between siblings can be a good thing. I worry about Greg and Daniel because they seem to rarely have a peaceful moment. Doug and I barely fought at all - but then again, we were four years apart. So this quote cooled me down a little:
"...sibs between 3 and 7 years old engage in some kind of conflict 3.5 times an hour. Kids in the 2-4 age group top out at 6.3 - or more than one clash every 10 minutes..."
Don't I know it?!?!
"But as much as all the fighting can set parents' hair on end, there's a lot of learning going on too, specifically about how conflicts, once begun, can be settled."
Yeah, my kids haven't gotten that far yet. They can't settle a conflict without resorting to physical violence. (Our friend, Monty King, created this appropriate photo of my boys when we lived in Houston. )
I also want to mention at this point that their research showed that children with no siblings do just fine. There's no conclusive evidence that they struggle with social skills, or anything else for that matter!
There were other theories in the article that I won't go into here, especially one about men and homosexuality that was a big load of crap-ola. But the article in general made me thankful for my brother and for the little men in my house. No one knows you like your siblings. No one understands you like they do. Doug saw me through all my stages, all my highs and lows. He knows where I've been, where I've come from, because he was there.
I wonder what I'd be like today if we'd had a sister. Sometimes with groups of women I feel like I am just not "getting it" or I get bored with the "girlieness" of it all. Maybe that's because I didn't have a sister, I don't know. But I do think our siblings have a lot more to do with who we are than we ever realized.
at 9:23 PM