15 Reasons I’m Glad My Kids Have a Sister

There are many advantages to having a sister. I’m lucky to have three sisters. I’ve also got 2 daughters of my own and I think they play an important role in our family.

“Even after you account for parents’ influence, siblings do matter in unique ways,” said Padilla-Walker, who teaches in BYU’s School of Family Life. “They give kids something that parents don’t.”

Sometimes people wonder how parents continue to give their full attention to each child as they add kids to the family. We don’t! But siblings have unique relationships with each other that benefit them differently than their relationship with their parents.

Click through to see why I’m glad my kids have sisters.

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  • Sisters promote kindness 1 of 15
    Sisters promote kindness
    This BYU study found that having a loving sister or brother promotes good deeds like watching out for other kids at school. In fact, loving siblings fostered charitable attitudes more than loving parents did. The relationship between sibling affection and good deeds was twice as strong as that between parenting and good deeds.
  • Sisters can fill in for mom 2 of 15
    Sisters can fill in for mom
    Older siblings are a huge help to mom and dad. This can be a great benefit in larger families where parents' attention is constantly divided. My oldest daughter can make bottles, change diapers, and put kids to bed. She's in high demand as a babysitter now because of these mad skillz.
  • Sisters bring out the softer side of brothers 3 of 15
    Sisters bring out the softer side of brothers
    I've seen my boys be tender toward each other, but it really is much more likely for them to rough house together. But somehow my little girls can get their brothers to dress up, play house, and watch princess movies with them. I love their influence on each other.
  • Learning about the birds and the bees doesn’t come as such a shock 4 of 15
    Learning about the birds and the bees doesn't come as such a shock
    If you've helped your mom bathe the baby and change your little sister's diapers, the "talk" doesn't come as such a surprise and goes a little more smoothly.
  • Sisters break down stereotypes 5 of 15
    Sisters break down stereotypes
    Nothing raises gender awareness quite like having a sister. My boys know their sisters are just as capable, smart, and interesting as any guy they know. Equal opportunities? Equal pay? These are moot points among brothers and sisters--everyone gets a dish night.
  • Sisters help you choose a spouse 6 of 15
    Sisters help you choose a spouse
    Sure brothers and sisters fight like old married couples, but having a sister teaches boys a lot about women and the qualities they like (or don't like) in a relationship.
  • Sisters have the gift of gab 7 of 15
    Sisters have the gift of gab
    Typically, girls speak sooner and are more verbal than boys. This is definitely the case in my family. My son will go through the day hardly saying 2 words but at night I'll find him chatting with his sister. If I eavesdrop (and I do) I can learn a lot more about his day than he ever tells me.
  • Having a sister helps you learn to fight right 8 of 15
    Having a sister helps you learn to fight right
    While parents worry over siblings who constantly bicker, those fights actually teach kids how to make up and regain control of their emotions--a valuable life skill.
  • Sisters show affection 9 of 15
    Sisters show affection
    Little boys give hugs easily, but as they get older guy culture discourages this easy show of affection. Sisters don't abide by the same rules and can kiss, hug, pat, or smack their brothers for as long as they want.
  • Sisters smooth rough edges 10 of 15
    Sisters smooth rough edges
    Any conscientious mom will raise her boys to be gentlemen, but it's a lot easier when there are more ladies actually present. My son relies on his sister for fashion advice as well.
  • A sister is a friend for life 11 of 15
    A sister is a friend for life
    As parents age and pass away, sisters remain a calming influence and often end up playing a caretaker roll in the family.
  • Sisters are an antidote to fear 12 of 15
    Sisters are an antidote to fear
    Children who have sisters report feeling less fearful. Having a sister seems to ground siblings and make them feel safe.
  • A sister can be a confidante 13 of 15
    A sister can be a confidante
    Because the sibling relationship is horizontal--neither one is an authority over the other--they can tell each other things they might not feel comfortable sharing with parents or teachers. When kids are older, having someone like this to act as a sounding board helps guard against depression.
  • Sisters prevent loneliness 14 of 15
    Sisters prevent loneliness
    Studies show that adolescents who have a sister--it doesn't matter whether she's younger or older, or how far apart they are in age--are protected from feeling alone and unloved.
  • Sisters ease self-consciousness 15 of 15
    Sisters ease self-consciousness
    Statistical analysis also shows that teens who have a sister feel less self-conscious. What an advantage during those difficult teen years. SO STOP FIGHTING WITH YOUR SISTER!

Still bugged by the bickering? Padilla-Walker offers this encouraging advice, “For parents of younger kids, the message is to encourage sibling affection. Once they get to adolescence, it’s going to be a big protective factor.” They might be fighting over Polly Pockets now, but they’ll help each other get through rough patches later in life.

More of my writing on Kid Scoop:

10 Cozy Costumes to Keep Kids Warm on Halloween

Children’s Illustrators That Shaped My World

Read my blog, Every Day I Write the Book

Find me on Twitter and Facebook

For more about daughters, check out Devan’s post!

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