Gables Montessori Blog

THE IMPORTANCE OF BROTHERS AND SISTERS

In the past, it was slightly common to see families of only one child. But in the last century the situation changed for many reasons as family planning, emotional issues, late marriage, fears over pregnancy or advanced age and others problems as divorces, infertility or death of a parent.  It has become more complicated to support several children and the modern society with his rapid growth have done that mothers enter to the labor market to collaborate with the familiar budget, and now they have to share her role as workers. Many families have made the decision to have one child and give to him all the opportunities and privileges.

Many theories about advantages and disadvantages of having no brothers have been published and the opinions vary. For some experts living as only child is a normal experience but others think that the relation between brothers is essential for the development of the human being. Both of them have positive and negative aspects that can be analyzed.

Older brothers are excellent partners of games and behavior models, living with them children can learn feelings as generosity, respect and companionship.

Fights between brothers are normal situations in a house. In these cases the parents have to intervene to teach them to control situations and to achieve the comprehension of the needs of each one.

Maybe an advantage of being only child could be that there is not competition, there is no obligation to test his capabilities, which can create a major sense of independence at the moment of developing his own interests or tastes.

When parents decide to have only one child can follow some recommendations as:

Try to give to the child the opportunity to interact with others, not only at school but also in the neighborhood, with relatives and in activities as sports practices.

Teach your kids to develop social skills. Many mothers speak instead of their children when they interact with adults or other children which is not the appropriate way. The ideal thing is to give them guidelines of tolerance thus they can learn to set their relationships, be included in playing groups, wait a turn or accept being excluded or rejected without trauma.

Promote the independence of the child, letting him know that though most of the time he interacts with adults, he can make his own decisions and create moments of entertainment for himself. A parent can promote the independency by giving her child some responsibility.

Demonstrate by example how to share, respect a compromise and show consideration for others, also a good technique is rewarding your child if he is being considerate but warn about consequences when he is not.

Set clear boundaries. Children who live with adults may believe they have equal power, so the best is make boundaries clear and keep some crucial decisions on parent hands.

Teach your children to wait. The only child receives answers to his demands rapidly enough because there are no other brothers in the waiting-list. Nevertheless the life is not always like that, let him know that patience is a good gift.

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