The sibling bond is instrumental to health. According to the Prevention Research Center: in childhood and adolescence, siblings spend considerable time together, and siblings’ characteristics and sibling dynamics substantially influence developmental trajectories and outcomes.
A friendly acquaintance is much more tolerable than a sibling acquaintance. There’s no history of who made dad angry!
So, how do you get to know your siblings?
There may be an early relationship history with less contact once in college. I’ve been utterly appalled to witness the power of family maliciousness at times of trauma or illness. Standing over a loved one being aggressive or violent is poor support during hospitalization.
Are you resentful of your sibling?
A worthwhile mental health question is: am I holding a grudge? Make a list to confess the anger. I keep an ongoing list then cross off grudges when they are resolved. It’s silly some of the memories that surface but imperative to critical healing.
Forgive daily. Commit to minute by minute forgiveness.
The Journal of Behavioral Medicine sites an emerging study on two degrees of forgiveness, Emotional and Decisional.
Decisional forgiveness is a behavioral intention to resist an unforgiving stance and to respond differently toward a transgressor.
Emotional forgiveness is the replacement of negative unforgiving emotions with positive other-oriented emotions. This type of forgiveness involves psychophysiological changes.
Emotional forgiveness has more direct health consequences. This is the most important type that works deep healing.
Be mature. Use this as an opportunity with perspective that may improve active listening. This is a payoff for bridging healthy union with work peers, too.
Ease into the elements of a conversation with a distressed sibling. Liberate mental challenges with
- big gesture movements,
- fresh air,
- an open landscape.
Activities that prompt socialization through movement and outdoor environments enrich the body with blood and oxygen. These resources are free and motivate coping skills. Try one of these ideas:
- Go sight-seeing – explore a neighborhood, city architecture, a local park, window-shop.
- Beach dunes, a fire-escape, public stairs or a hike that escalates will keep the breath heavy, conversation light.
- Sled if its winter or find a playground in warmer weather. Flag football, frisbee, swinging…the outdoors reduces stress symptoms no matter what temperature. Wear suited clothing for temperature and finish with suited soul-food.
- Create a lawn chess board (frames, yarn, spray paint) then use balloons grounded with tent stakes as the chess pieces. Twister is another option but that might be too close for comfort.
Do you have an idea worth trying? Share it with us and readers! Inspire sibling to unite!