Having a sibling can be great. Growing up with another person who truly understands just how unfair your parents are can help make that 10:00 p.m. curfew a lot easier to handle. But as protective and understanding as they can be, siblings can also be bossy, annoying, or just downright mean. If you're still haunted by childhood memories of your older sister locking you in the closet, it may cause you to wonder how having a dominant sibling affects your child later in life.
You can't choose your family, and unfortunately for my younger brothers, your siblings will be around for the long haul. That means that if you grow up in the same household, your siblings will undoubtedly help shape some parts of your personality. According to U.S. News & World Report, nearly 80 percent of people in the U.S. have at least one sibling. Additionally, as Health magazine mentioned, sibling relationships can influence everything from your weight to how you navigate the dating world. And when one sibling has a particularly dominant personality, it can cause the others to either go into their shell or work hard to develop a talent or interest that sets them apart.
Keep in mind that every situation is different and other environmental factors can come into play, but by spreading the love around and making sure to avoid placing labels like "the smart one" or "the jock," you can help keep some of the peace in the house.
1. They Can Become Introverted
If you have a dominant sibling, chances are, you will be more of an introvert as a result. Not only because your sibling won't give you a chance to get a word in, but also as a way to maintain your own identity. As Health mentioned, many sibling relationships see a process of deidentification, in which each person develops separate identities in order to distinguish themselves.
2. They Can Learn A Lot
If your child's dominant sibling is an overachiever in the classroom, it could mean that he will go to the head of the class himself. According to Business Insider, a high-achieving sibling can cause the other children in the family to work harder to emulate their success.
3. They May Underperform On Purpose
On the other hand, if the dominant sibling excels at a particular activity, it may cause the other to resort to underachieving. According to Dr. Sylvia Rimm, some children view the standards set by their siblings as impossible to attain, and instead choose failure as a means to gain attention from their parents.
4. They'll Be Prepared To Deal With Others
It may drive you crazy, but sibling squabbles help your kids learn to interact with classmates, co-workers, and other people they will encounter out in the world, according to U.S. News & World Report. If your child grows up having to defend herself against a dominant sibling, she'll be better prepared to stand up for herself with others.
5. They May Be Jealous Lovers
If your child grows up believing that you favor their dominant sibling, it can have implications on their relationships later in life. According to U.S. News & World Report, children in these situations tend to have lower self-esteem and are often suspicious of their partner's loyalty.