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Siblings are not overrated

My+brother%2C+Kenny+Stratz%2C+and+me+in+2007.+
My brother, Kenny Stratz, and me in 2007.

My brother, Kenny Stratz, and me in 2007.

Maggie Vittori

Maggie Vittori

My brother, Kenny Stratz, and me in 2007.

Kathryn Stratz, Staff Writer

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“Ugh, my brother is so annoying! I wish that I was an only child!”

No, you don’t.

“You’re an only child? Must be so nice!”

No, not really.

The common perception of being an only child is that it’s “better” compared to having siblings. Many people think that siblings only cause stress and conflict in one’s life, but that is not the case.

It has been scientifically proven that children with siblings have some advantages over those who don’t.

One of the advantages being that siblings help one learn important lessons for adulthood.

According to Avidan Milevsky, a research scientist of sibling relationships at Ariel University in Israel, not having a sibling can actually affect the structure of humans’ brains.

In 2017, a study was conducted by the Southwest University in Chongqing, China, which studied the brains of 250 students, half of them having no siblings. The students’ personalities were tested as well for creativity levels.

The study showed that “…only children were more creative overall, but scored lower on having an agreeable personality…thus having less grey matter in the medial prefrontal cortex, which is the part that determines empathy, as it’s where we think about ourselves in relation to others.”

Not only do children with siblings develop real life skills early on, having siblings provides people with an opportunity for someone to share difficult experiences with, such as a loss in the family or their parents’ divorce.

Siblings provide someone who experiences the same things in similar ways, generally because parents process things differently, as they can be more jaded.”

Siblings are more related in every way, shape, and form than any other two types of people on the planet, scientifically and socially, and they generally experience the same things in similar ways.

Now, one obviously can’t control how many children their parents have or their life circumstances.  And no judgement of people who simply choose to only have one child — it’s all good.

And it’s not always black and white, where one either has siblings or they don’t; there are many different types of siblings. Half-siblings, step-siblings, and even siblings who are 20 years older or younger.

Or, in my situation, having siblings for part of your life, but not the rest.

I had an older brother for eight years of my life. While I may physically be an “only child” now, I grew up learning to share and to consider other peoples’ thoughts and feelings.

I shared my parents, my home, and my experiences with him.

I shared the attention for eight years, and he shared mine.

Siblings are a gift.  If you’re lucky enough to have them, appreciate the fights, competing for attention, and not always getting what you want.  They’re irreplaceable.

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About the Writer
Kathryn Stratz, Staff Writer

Kathryn is a senior during the 2018 to 2019 school year and is the Highlander Managing Editor and a Scot Scoop writer. She is the last first place holder of the 2017 Diversity Series Pacemaker. She loves participating in Carlmont’s cheer program, cheeseburgers, and country music.

Twitter: @kastratz

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Siblings are not overrated