A recent radio program on Public Radio discussed the benefits to raising 1 child families. Many callers phoned in to agree with the shows guest, and would articulate their personal beliefs on minimizing the family unit size to maximize the positive development for a child.
In contrast to the shows opinion, and as one of 9 siblings, plus a cousin thrown into the mix, I don’t believe that the development of my person-hood was compromised as a result of growing up with siblings.
As a middle child in a large family, I have become a better listener, a harder worker, and a more generous person.
Growing up, I loved tagging along with the ‘big’ kids as their nuisance little kid sister.
As I got older I fell in love with my role as an older sibling to the ‘little’ kids. It has been a wonderful experience to watch them grow.
Spanning 20 years, I have been able to watch Colleen take her first steps. Now I run half-marathons with her.
A few people that phoned in discussed the resentment they harbor to this day as a result of growing up with siblings. For me, growing up with siblings has not been perfect, but it has been a joy to share life with such a bonded and varied group of brothers and sisters.
My laughter, and at times, even rage or sorrow, is always most authentic when in their company. I count Kate, Gabe, Rob, Cale, Patrick, Raph, Colleen, James and Clare as some of my closest friends, They have not decreased the richness of my development. What they have done is helped maximize the potential of my personal formation.