Siblings on the Lam
Of all the things in the news this week, or indeed in any given week, that are mind-boggling, one stands out for me: A crime spree and subsequent flight by car of three siblings in their 20s. It gave me some food for thought, not because their crimes were so surprising or strange, or any more heinous than other crimes. No, just the fact that they were siblings, and lit out together on their little adventure.
How many families show this kind of unity? Are we looking at deep dysfunction here, or a brotherly/sisterly love that transcends the bond that most families I know have? When I did a search on the internet under the general term of 'siblings who' a host of sites popped up on how parents can help their siblings get along. Most parents were concerned about fights between siblings, and worried whether they were introducing their children to a lifetime of fighting, rather than a lifetime of having a close family member. http://parenting.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/03/11/when-siblings-fight/
As I continued to search under the term 'siblings who get along', what I found were more articles that talked about how to train your children to get along. The phrase 'sibling rivalry' is a regular part of our lexicon, and so would lead one to believe that siblings do not get along, more often than not.
Leo Tolstoy wrote in chapter one of Anna Karenina, that all happy families are all alike, while all unhappy families are unhappy in their own way. Now, I've got to figure out was this trio from an unhappy family, (notwithstanding their mother who was begging them to stop their wild ways and come home)or from a happy family, because obviously these sibs get along swimmingly.
Most adult siblings can talk endlessly about their fights, pranks, and squabbles with each other, and remember their competition over the affections and esteem of their parents. Each child, depending on their birth order, has a special tale to tell, and is a place holder for some dynamic of the family(either that, or they haven't spoken to each other in twenty years).The first born may be the bossy organizer; the second child, the overachiever; and the third child, the class clown or family screw-up. These aren't hard and fast rules, but they occur often enough that we know birth order has some effect on the development of a child.Continued on the next page