Parenting is filled with many happy moments. For many parents, some of the happiest moments are watching your children interact together.
Researchers have shown that having brothers and sisters can benefit us later in life, according to an article published on the OSU Extention website.
Nobody knows you better than a sister or brother. You share memories that nobody else shares. Most siblings share memories that their parents don't remember.
As a parent, raising siblings can be challenging at times. Although you may love all of your children equally, they don't always feel that your love for them is equal.
Sibling rivalry contributes to many arguments between brothers and sisters. Much of the resentment that kids show is related to feeling that a parent favors one of their siblings.
It's important to let your children work out their own disagreements; however, you need to make sure that they are kind to each other.
I was blessed to be born into the middle of a big family. With seven siblings, there wasn't much one-on-one time with each of our parents, but there was a lot of time spent together with siblings.
We fought and argued as many siblings do. But, when it really mattered, we were there for each other and continue to be as adults.
As a mom, I wanted my kids to grow up to enjoy each other's company, just as me and my siblings enjoy spending time together. When my son was born, he instantly had three moms.
His two older sisters doted on him, played with him, fed him and eventually bossed him around. When I look back at old pictures, I love seeing those Kodak moments with one or both girls playing with and enjoying their brother.
Of course, there were times when they didn't get along. Siblings fight sometimes and it's not always easy to know whether to step in or to watch from the sidelines.
Mostly, you just do the best job you can as a parent and hope that you're doing enough of the right things that your kids will become kind and caring adults.
My kids added two stepbrothers to their family when their dad remarried. When my kids were in their teens, they gained another stepbrother and a stepsister when I remarried.
Now that my kids are grown, it's wonderful to watch them when they are together. Their love for one another is clear for anyone to see.
They laugh at jokes and memories that I don't always recall. They remember more about each another's childhood than anyone else does.
One of the joys of raising siblings is enjoying the fleeting moments in life that will never come again. Some are big moments like birthdays and holidays.
But many are smaller memories, just tiny dots in time. Ice cream cones on a hot day, raking leaves together, going for a hike in the woods, family gatherings and dinner table talk all hold special memories.
As my son celebrates his birthday today, I've been looking back at some of those memories. I'm not in many of the old photos because I was usually behind the camera.
The times my kids shared together will stay in their memories for years to come. The joy of raising siblings remains long after the kids are grown and moved out of the house.
As you parent your kids, make time for them to spend together. Let them argue and settle their own disagreements. Let them stay up too late playing together.
Send them out to ride bikes together, to play on the swing set, to built forts and to make memories. Siblings are forever and that's a good thing.