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Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Siblings as friends

Writing my previous post reminded me of something I was thinking about a while ago with regard to siblings. A random blog I was looking at had posted an episode of the Duggars show about living thriftily. Having heard lots about them I was interested to see the show so my husband and I watched it. It was very interesting but what particularly struck me was something the older girls said.

They were shown doing home perms which apparently saves them a fortune compared to if they got it done at the hairdressers. The sisters then talked about how people ask them where the "Duggar hairstyle" comes from and why they all look the same. They said they were friends and they liked having the same hairstyle.

My initial reaction was to think it was a bit weird. But when I thought about it a bit more, I thought, "Why is it weird?" If they weren't sisters but were classmates in a school I wouldn't have thought anything of it so why is it weird just because they are sisters?

I think it is culturally ingrained that siblings are not supposed to be friends. We are supposed to be friends with people "our own age" (which is facilitated by school) and to be individuals separate from our families.

God created us to be members of families. Why would he put people together as siblings? Does it not make sense that people would be friends with their siblings? Of course I am not suggesting that siblings should be a child's only friends (and indeed that would be very unfair on only children) but it would be nice if siblings as friends was considered the norm.

Perhaps then all this school as socialisation nonsense wouldn't be an issue.


Buffy said...

Interesting. Of course there are lots of stories in the Bible where brothers are natural rivals. I wonder if this applies to sisters as well?

I sometimes think a big part of the problem is that children and teenagers don't have any choice about spending time with siblings whereas they choose to spend time with their friends. So one is something to be endured and the other an active choice. I suppose it is up to the parents to teach them how to be friends and not encourage rivalry (which some parents do by comparing them etc).

Toni said...

Hi Susan!It`s been a long time since we`ve chatted!!
I LOVE the Duggars!! They are such a wonderful testamony of the blessings one can have when trusting God!
I hope you are having a wonderful day!!

Anonymous said...

I know this is an older post but I wanted to comment. I have two sisters and two brothers. One of my sister is 11 months younger and the other 9 years younger. We are the best of friends. Perhaps when we were younger this may not have been the case. My entire family - all four siblings and their spouses and kids and my parents vacation together and we spend many weekends togther - gathering usually at our parents home. My mother and father say they were specially blessed that their five children all love each other and are friends. I don't like when my girls squabble with eachother but I have faith that they too will all be best of friends.

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