When I was in the Santa Barbara airport Tuesday, I bought a Time magazine to read. The cover story was an article called "How Your Siblings Make You Who You Are."
The story argues that your parents are really only present for the first half of your life and spouses really only for the second half. Siblings are the one lifelong constant and their influence on personality development is immense.
The article was really, really interesting. And because I am incapable of having a non-Supernatural related thought, it of course made me think of the relationship between Sam and Dean and how they influenced each other growing up.
Relevant parts of the study include: socialization, "the favorite child," self-esteem, death of a parent, being raised by a sibling, how fighting as kids makes the sibling relationship stronger as adults, etc.
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.
Our siblings may be the only people we'll ever know who truly qualify as partners for life.
By the time children are 11, they devote about 33% of their free time to their siblings--more time than they spend with friends, parents, teachers or even by themselves
"Siblings have a socializing effect on one another," Shaw says. "When you tease out all the other variables, it's the play styles that make the difference. Unlike a relationship with friends, you're stuck with your sibs. You learn to negotiate things day to day."
As siblings, we may sulk and fume but by nighttime we still return to the same twin beds in the same shared room.
65% of mothers and 70% of fathers exhibited a preference for one child—in most cases, the older one.
Second-tier children may pay a price. "They tend to be sadder and have more self-esteem questions," Conger says. "They feel like they're not as worthy, and they're trying to figure out why."
Younger siblings mimic the skills and strengths of older ones. Older sibs are prodded to attempt something new because they don't want to be shown up by a younger one who has already tried it.
Siblings who battled a lot as kids may become closer as adults--and more emotionally skilled too, often clearly recalling what their long-ago fights were about and the lessons they took from them.
Full-blown childhood crises may forge even stronger lifelong links. The death of a parent blows some families to bits. But when older sibs step in to help raise younger ones, the dual role of contemporary and caretaker can lay the foundation for an indestructible closeness later on.
Even siblings who drift apart in their middle years tend to drift back together as they age.
It was only the existence of older biological brothers--whether or not they were raised together—that influenced younger brothers' sexuality.
18% of people polled say their parents favored one child over another
36% of people polled say they've become closer to their siblings with age
The full article is verrrry long but it's really good and I encourage you to read it. Here's a link: