Life Is Better With A Younger Sibling, But If You Tell Them, It'll Go To Their Head

Life Is Better With A Younger Sibling, But If You Tell Them, It'll Go To Their Head

Because we all know they’re life’s most precious and demonic gift.
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There is no doubt that having a younger brother or sister is the greatest gift in life. My younger brother is undeniably my prized possession, and being away from him during my first semester at college has made me realize his importance in my life.

Of course, younger siblings would not live up to their full potential if they were not a pain in the you-know-what 98 percent of the time, but the other two percent makes up for all of the annoyances. Upon the laundry list of reasons why having a younger sibling is life's biggest blessing, here are the most significant ones:

1. They want to be just like you

They’re your biggest fan and your loudest paparazzi, even on your worst of days. Though they probably won’t admit it, they’re watching every move you make: the restaurants you like, the subjects you excel in, the slang terms you use, etc.

As they get older, they want to participate in the exact activities you do, only they fear that they won’t do it as well as you. With their ripe, young minds, they create imaginary competition and strive to be just as good, if not better, as you in everything, obviously with the biggest heart and best intention.

2. You can blame your mistakes on them

This is probably the BEST part about having a younger sibling. Though they probably blame you for equally as many problems as you blame them for, they haven’t yet learned how to be sneaky like you are (unless they’ve learned from you all too well, that is).

While both you and your parents know who the real culprit is, it’s always fun to commit the crime and dodge the blame, no matter how old you are.

3. You can act like a child with them, but this time it's appropriate

Whether we want to admit it or not, we’re all children at heart. Despite attempts to act mature and responsible, we all inevitably slip from time to time. When the urge of playing one round of Mario Kart Wii, having your hair brushed and braided or dancing and screaming to the most popular pop song of 2012 kicks in, it can not be left untreated.

The solution: convince your younger sibling to do it with you so that it seems socially acceptable and others compliment you for being such a caring older sibling. It works every time.

4. There is always someone to hangout with

We all have those days where our mood falls between not wanting to be social but also not wanting to be completely isolated. This is where younger siblings are the most useful.

They will be SO incredibly happy that you want to spend time with them that they will give you their undivided attention for all of eternity. This makes for a perfect movie marathon and popcorn kind of night, my favorite time to reflect on how lucky I am to have such a special relationship with my younger brother.

5. They will criticize you, but they will support you more than anyone

Contrary to popular belief, if you look up 'critic' in the dictionary, you will not find 'parent,' but will instead find 'sibling.' They know when to be blatantly honest, which is always, even when it hurts the most, but we know it's all out of love. Whether the outfit is too tight, the hair is too dirty or the project is worthy of a failing grade, the constructive criticism that stings will only help in the long run.

Aside from that, though, younger siblings are hands down our biggest supporters. Despite their not being able to do much, knowing that they are willing to do anything to protect you says just enough, that is, I love you. And it's all we older siblings ever need to hear.

If you have a younger sibling, hug them, thank them and tell them that you love them. And if you are a younger sibling, then know that you are loved.

Cover Image Credit: Arin Forstadt

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The Thank You My Dad Deserves

While our moms are always the heroes, our dads deserve some credit, too.
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Dear Dad,

You’ve gone a really long time without being thanked. I'm not talking about thanks for things like opening the Gatorade bottle I couldn't or checking my tires when my car’s maintenance light is flashing, but rather the thanks I owe you for shaping me into the person I am today.

Thank you for teaching me what I deserve and for not letting me settle for anything less.

While the whole world was telling me I wasn’t good enough, you were there to tell me I was. Whether this was with boys, a friend, or anything else, you always built my confidence to a place I couldn’t build it to on my own. You showed me what my great qualities were and helped me feel unique. But most of all, you never let me settle for anything less than what I deserved, even when I wanted to. Without you, I wouldn’t be nearly as ambitious, outgoing or strong.

Thank you for giving me someone to make proud.

It’s hard to work hard when it’s just for myself, but so easy when it’s for you. All through school, nothing made me happier than getting a good grade back because I knew I got to come home and tell you. With everything I do, you give me a purpose.

SEE ALSO: 20 Things You Say When Calling Your Dad On The Phone

Thank you for showing me what selflessness looks like.

You are the prime example of what putting your family first looks like. If me wanting something means that you can’t get what you want, you’ll always sacrifice. From wearing the same t-shirts you’ve had since I was in elementary school so I could buy the new clothes I wanted, to not going out with your friends so you could come to my shows, you never made a decision without your family at the forefront of your mind. If there is one quality you have that I look up to you for the most, it’s your ability to completely put your needs aside and focus entirely on the wants of others.

Thank you for being the voice in the back of my head that shows me wrong from right.

Even though many of your dad-isms like “always wear a seatbelt” easily get old, whenever I’m in a situation and can’t decide if what I’m doing is right or wrong, I always can hear you in the back of my head pointing me in the right direction. While I may not boost your ego often enough by telling you you’re always right, you are.

Thank you for being real with me when nobody else will.

Being your child hasn’t always been full of happiness and encouragement, but that’s what makes you such an integral part of my life. Rather than sugarcoating things and always telling me I was the perfect child, you called me out when I was wrong. But what separates you from other dads is that instead of just knocking me down, you helped me improve. You helped me figure out my faults and stood by me every step of the way as I worked to fix them.

Most of all, thank you for showing me what a great man looks like.

I know that marriage may seem very far down the road, but I just want you to know that whoever the guy I marry is, I know he’ll be right because I have an amazing guy to compare him to. I know you’re not perfect (nobody is), but you’ve raised me in a such a way that I couldn’t imagine my kids being raised any differently. Finding a guy with your heart, drive, and generosity will be tough, but I know it will be worth it.


Dad, you’re more than just my parent, but my best friend. You’re there for me like nobody else is and I couldn’t imagine being where I am now without you.

Love you forever,

Your little girl

Cover Image Credit: Caity Callan

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To Alex—The Little Brother I Can't Imagine Life Without

I am so thankful and blessed to have such a caring and forgiving brother like you.

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When my brother was born, I cried to the nurses and told them to return him. I was an only child for about seven years so I was always used to being the center of attention. I was an upset child who not only had to share attention with my parents but family friends and extended family. Alex, who is my brother, was a quiet chubby baby who never cried or complained at all.

On the other hand, I was a noisy monster who couldn't go out without making a dramatic scene. As Alex and I got older, we began to connect more since he began to talk and walk around. We shared common interests in playing in the dirt, sports, music and humor. Like all siblings, we had our ups and downs, but one thing I can say about my brother is that he was always forgiving to me. As a little child to the preteen he is now, he was always forgiving of the actions I would do to him. I could ruin his favorite drawing or kick his favorite ball far away, but he would never hate or give me the cold shoulder. Yeah, he would be upset and say something rude, but he always found some way of letting it go. I used to not be very forgiving of my brother when he would do the same, but I eventually realized that resentment and anger was not the way to go. It only creates strains on relationships that could be strengthened or worked on.

Upon leaving college we spent less time since he was deeply involved in sports and I was preparing for the next chapter in my life. We didn't talk a whole lot while I was away since he was busy with middle school and sports, but the times we talked made me realize he was growing up without me. Having your family live a whole continent away doesn't help either because time zones are tricky. However, this didn't mean I didn't love my brother any less or that my relationship with him was gone. This was us growing up.

If there is one thing my brother has taught me besides his dedication to sports and smarts in history, is to be forgiving. In this world, it's easy to be hateful and bitter to those who do you wrong or you simply don't like. If it weren't for my brother showing me unconditional love when I was being a prick, I don't think I would be forgiving. Looking back, I am really thankful and blessed to have such a caring and forgiving brother.

Alex, if you're reading this, I love and miss you. I'm glad you are my one and only brother.

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