Two-and-a-half kids is supposedly a major part of the American Dream, but a lot of people are not sure if they want more than one child. One child is plenty of responsibility on its own, so why would you want to double that workload? The answer is that not only you will gain happiness from having another bundle of joy, but your children will actually benefit even more from being together. Siblings have a special relationship that brings them together from birth through adulthood, and they will learn many skills and lessons that will help them in the real world once they’ve left the nest.
Working around your busy schedule and the schedules of other children around the same age as your own can turn into a real nightmare. While you want your child to have someone to play with pretty frequently, sometimes play dates don’t work out as often as you would like. Yet, if you have more than one child, your children will always have an available playdate, and the only schedule you have to worry about is yours!
Development of Social Skills
Sharing, teamwork, conflict-resolution; the list of social skills that children learn due to siblings goes on and on. Kids can learn these ideals in school, but it’s best to give them a head start with a sibling so they develop those skills from a young age. Then, once they start school, they will be able to make and keep friends much more easily. These skills will propel them forward in life, and having a sibling leaves them with no choice but to develop them early on.
No matter how many or how few friends your child has at school, if they have a sibling then they will always be able to count on that one close friend at home. When they’re younger, they will always have someone to go to Chuck E. Cheese’s with, and when they’re older, they will always have someone trustworthy to confide in. The sibling relationship is starkly different than the one between parent and child, so even if you consider yourself to be good friends with your kid, your child will still appreciate having a family member who is close in age.
Depending on the age gap between your children, your older child will be able to help out your younger child with homework, chores, and more. Your older child will learn invaluable skills about how to get along with other children, and he or she will also gain a headstart on learning how to tutor/teach. Your younger child will benefit as well from spending this time with his or her sibling in that he or she will grow more comfortable around kids who are older. An older child can be invaluable in guiding the younger sibling through the difficult parts of childhood and adolescence.
A Source of Comfort
This benefit (hopefully) will not come into play for a while, but it’s definitely one of the greatest long-term benefits you can give your children. Divorce could be a future possibility for some parents, and death is just as certain as taxes, so providing each of your children with someone else who is going through the same hardships as they are will provide them with comfort. Even after you are gone, your children will have each other to take care of, and they won’t have to face these fears alone. Hopefully, this will be a benefit they appreciate when they are adults and not when they are young, but it is a benefit nonetheless.