The Role of an Older Sibling
November 30, 2018
When I was eleven years old, my mom broke the news: she was pregnant. I was ecstatic because I’ve only dreamed about becoming an older sister and now it’s becoming a reality. I was always the youngest sibling and I was ready to upgrade my status. The first few months was absolute heaven — only because my mom was the one taking care of her and I just watched.
However, things really changed when my mom began to work again and I actually had to be a big sister. I was taught how to change diapers, prepare bottles, putting her to sleep, and many other things. Things got real when my little sister entered elementary school and I had to upgrade my status to Big Sister 2.0. It’s tough trying to handle to your life while also making sure your younger sibling doesn’t swallow that Lego block or mark the walls with crayon.
If you’re becoming a future older sibling or are already one and need a helping hand, here are a few tips:
- Patience is key. Children are going to be a handful and it’s important to keep in your frustration. Getting angry at them is not doing you or your sibling any good.
- Spend time with them. I know it might be hard to do so maybe because you could be doing “better” things rather than hanging out with your little brother or sister but it’s important to remain close with them. This builds up trust and lets them know that they’ll have someone to fall back on other than their parents.
- As an older sibling, good listening skills are essential. Sometimes, younger siblings may come to you for advice or just to rant about their day. In my case, I have a 6-year-old sister who comes to me with tears whenever our mom disciplines her. I always hear out her side of the story, even if it may seem incoherent due to her still crying.
- Be a positive role model. Younger siblings will follow what their older siblings are doing. If you break a vase, they’ll break another one, thinking it’s okay because you did it, too. Be a role model when it comes to school and at home.
There are many other things that makes you a good older sibling but these are just some that help me be the big sister I’ve always wanted to be.