Are you a good person? Well, you may have your sister to thank for that!
Turns out all those fights over borrowing clothes and whose taking too long in the shower may have paid off.
“Even after you account for parents’ influence, siblings do matter in unique ways,” Researcher Laura Padilla-Walker, of Brigham Young University in Utah, told NBC News. “They give kids something that parents don’t.”
Studies show that having a sister can help you to better resolve conflicts, improve mental health, and be more empathetic and nurturing amongst other things.
“They help you develop social skills, like communication, compromise, and negotiation,” says Alex Jensen, assistant professor in the School of Family Life at Brigham Young University and the author of research into sibling relationships, said according to Huffington Post. “Even sibling conflict, if it is minor, can promote healthy development.”
Having a sister can also help with your mental health. A 2010 study found that having a sister can prevent you from “feeling lonely, unloved, guilty, self-conscious, and fearful.”
“What we know suggests that sisters play a role in promoting positive mental health, and later in life they often do more to keep families in contact with one another after the parents pass,” Jensen said.
“Even if there is a little bit of fighting, as long as they have affection, the positive will win out,” Padilla-Walker explains. “If siblings get in a fight, they have to regulate emotions. That’s an important skill to learn for later in life.”
Research also found out that brothers with sisters are better at communicating with women since they’ve had some practice.
“Some research suggests that having a sibling who is a different gender from you can be a real benefit in adolescence,” Jensen said. “Many of those sibling pairs become closer during the teen years because they become good sources of information about the opposite sex.”
Research stressed the importance of making sure that your kids do work out their conflicts in a positive way and generally get along.
“For parents of younger kids, the message is to encourage sibling affection,” Padilla-Walker said. “Once they get to adolescence, it’s going to be a big protective factor.”
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