In the spirit of Raksha Bandhan, we thought it would be nice to explore some of the benefits of a strong sibling relationship! This might seem surprising to most people, but it has been found that having a sibling to grow up with, can help a child combat depression, obesity and even allergies.
- Let’s start with obesity:
Several studies have linked sibling relationships to lowered risk of obesity on the grounds that children with siblings spent more time running around and playing vigorously with each other, than single children whose playtime with friends is restricted by school and household timings.
- Not sure how depression fits in this picture?
When it comes to research in the field of mental health in relation to siblinghood, the jury is still out on whether the results are concrete. That said, enough evidence has been found, to indicate that having a sibling to share the burden of a family crisis significantly reduces mental stress. This sibling support also extends into adulthood when a person faces struggles outside the family, such as work and financial stresses.
- Allergy resistance – far-fetched, but true:
The findings on this topic are rooted in the “hygiene hypothesis.” The hygiene hypothesis states that lack of exposure to various infectious microorganisms, germs and parasites suppresses the natural development of our immune systems. In simple terms, our bodies are trained to defend us, by exposure to germs. In childhood, the most efficient carriers of germs and common viruses are – you guessed it – other children! Studies discovered that growing up with a sibling gave a child a better chance of dodging hay fever, eczema-urticaria and in some cases, even asthma.
If you have a sibling or if your child has siblings/close cousins, do share your best sibling stories in the comments!