How to Celebrate Siblings Day This April + Why Siblings Are Important
7 minute read
Siblings Day is April 10th, and it is a great combination of an opportunity to reflect on the impact siblings have on our lives as well as being an excuse to throw a party. Our siblings are often our first means of peer interaction and play an enormous role in our formative years and beyond.
Here is what science has to say about why siblings can be as beneficial to your health as they can be detrimental. On Siblings Day, though, it’s important to strengthen and celebrate your bond as much as possible.
Siblings: A Blessing and Curse
If you’ve grown up with brothers or sisters, you’ve probably felt conflicting emotions about them at one time or another. You love them, but you can’t stand to be around them. They’re your best friend, and they annoy you. They’re the person you turn to for help, and you want to show them that you’re independent.
It is a unique relationship that shapes our lives in ways so intricate and elusive that we’re often blind to them. Siblings are our first friends and first rivals. We teach each other social skills, responsibility, and love. These relationships can be as complicated and varied as the people who form them.
Research has shown, as kids, siblings are constantly teaching us how to interact with others, solve social problems, and how to lead or follow. In short, in those early years, a sibling teaches us about the world and how to interact with it.
Whether or not this early relationship is positive or negative can have an impact that lasts a lifetime.
All Grown Up
While the foundation for a lifelong relationship is laid as young children, the majority of most sibling relationships are spent in adulthood. Even if that relationship isn’t close, it’s a constant in life and often the longest-lasting relationship we have.
At least one survey has shown that 30% of the participants would call a sibling first in an emergency, and two-thirds said that their sibling was also their best friend.
If you wouldn’t call your sibling your best friend, that’s okay. It doesn’t mean that your relationship is any better or worse than another. As unique as each sibling relationship is, there’s always an intrinsic, permanent bond that ties you to that person.
You can choose your friends, but you can’t choose your family. While this is often said in a resigned tone concerning family, you can also leave or change friends or partners, but that family bond will always be there. There is solidity in that relationship that, if you want it to be, can be a powerfully positive force in your life.
They Can Make You More Sympathetic to Others
Because siblings are knit so tightly into who we are, they have several different effects on our physical and mental health. Children learn so much about social interaction from their siblings, and this study showed that a positive, affectionate relationship with a sibling may help an individual develop and express sympathy during their adolescence.
One can only speculate at how being around more sympathetic peers during those formative teenage years could positively impact adult life.
Sisters Provide Security
If you have a sister, count yourself lucky. This research shows that having a sister, older or younger, can protect people from feelings of loneliness, guilt, self-consciousness, and fear. This effect was even stronger than that given by parents, and gaps in age and physical distance didn’t matter.
Sisters often take on a nurturing role, and the permanence and longevity of a relationship with a sister can help give their siblings that mental boost.
Live Longer And Happier
An analysis of several studies showed that having close relationships could even help you live longer. Over the course of 7.5 years, people who had poor social connections had a 50% higher chance of death. While this includes friends as well as siblings, there’s nothing quite like that lifelong bond to give you a better shot at a long, happy life.
Reach Your Physical Fitness Goals
Trying to get fit? Get your siblings on board. Family and friends play a huge role in our physical health, good or bad. A sibling can share in the journey with you; be a source of support, nutrition, and exercise advice; and a bit of healthy sibling rivalry could even help give you the push to succeed.
| Related: Which Exercise Helps you Live the Longest? |
For many, getting healthy is a long-term affair that requires tons of support, motivation, and encouragement. A sibling could likely be going through the same thing in regards to physical fitness, seeing as how they share your DNA. And what better partner could you have than someone who’s known you your whole life?
How to Celebrate Siblings Day
Siblings are the undersung reason for who we are today. They challenge us and push us and nurture us. Here are some ways to celebrate Siblings Day and spread some love.
♦ If You Live Nearby: Take your sibling out for dinner, or cook them their favorite meal at home. Take this opportunity to go through old family photos and deepen your connection with each other. If you’d like, go all out and throw each other a party to celebrate your connection.
♦ If You Live Far Away: A phone or video call, especially in the text-heavy world that we live in, can mean a lot. Just taking the time out of your day to show your appreciation for your sibling is a simple, heartfelt way to show that you care. Or, if you can swing it, make a special trip out to visit.
♦ If You Can’t Call: Cards are the classic way to show someone that you’re thinking of them. Jot down a few reasons why you’re grateful for them and let them know that you cherish your relationship.
♦ If a Sibling Has Passed Away: Do something in their memory. Donate to a charity, go to their favorite restaurant, write them a letter, or go over all of your favorite memories of them. Just because they’re gone doesn’t mean that you can’t show them your love.
The Bottom Line
Most people grow up with at least one sibling, and this relationship often lasts longer than any other, and with greater impact. Siblings teach us, shape us, and provide a sense of love and security that is unlike that of any other relationship.
Show your sibling that you care by celebrating the special bond that you have this April 10th, and every day thereafter.