As a middle child, I often wondered what it be like to have control of the remote control and not share everything. I’d know kids who were the only child and felt envious; they got all the attention and never had to wear hand-me-downs. Well, it seems that’s as good as it gets for those who do not have siblings. They may have an imaginary friend that’s just there own, but their future relationships seem rather bleak.
According to a study, being an only child may increase your chances for divorce. I have three siblings so I have some protection against divorce as an adult. And the more brothers and sisters you have, the better: each additional sibling reduces the likelihood of divorce by 2 percent.
Why do folks without siblings divorce more often than those with siblings?
“More siblings means more experience dealing with others, and that seems to provide additional help in dealing with a marriage relationship as an adult,” said Donna Bobbitt-Zeher, co-author of the study and an assistant professor of sociology at OSU’s Marion campus.
It’s simply about building relationships and learning to compromise. People who grow up with siblings develop negotiating skills. When we have a brother or sister, especially an onslaught of them, we have to consider other’s points of view, even if we want to yank their hair out in the process.
So, I thank God for my siblings. Without them, I may not have learned how to let someone else win, control my anger or even how to listen. I am fortunate to have learned this lesson naturally, even if I had to share my Barbie dolls.