A special bond exists among siblings, even though they compete with each other for a variety of things including recognition from their parents. The relationship which exists between siblings is very different from that of with parents or partners. Most children do not welcome the birth of a new baby in the family. But the chasm of jealously no longer exists among siblings. Their relationship has become more like partnerships, partly because children today are not raised in defined roles.
The older children no longer retain their role of seniority in the family. Sibling relationships seldom are completely problem free. And this is also true in the way they are perceived. Siblings benefit from each other from the beginning. They quickly become playmates.
In the end, they spend much more time together than with parents or friends. When they fight or feel jealous, they must come together and find a compromise, which amounts to social training for life. Siblings can also help their brother or sister find his or her own role. That's because we compare ourselves with older siblings more than with anyone else, according to psychologists Christine Kaniak-Urban and Andrea Lex-Kachel.
Younger children closely observe which position the older children in the family have filled and which positions are still open. Whether a child has a sibling or not also affects the parents. A lengthy study of married couples showed that families with two or more children were the happiest. Families with only one child were more likely to view the child as a burden on the partnership, according to the study by the state institute for family research at the University of Bamberg. Eighty percent of adults with only one child said they would like to have more children.