As a parent, you want to ensure that your children are happy and healthy. This includes teaching them how to handle their own emotions and behaviors, while making sure they are safe from harm. This also means you need to know how to help them navigate their relationships with their siblings.

Effects of Older Siblings Raising Younger Siblings

Having older siblings raise younger siblings can have a positive or negative impact on their development, depending on the stability and maturity of each child. The first-born may feel an obligation to take care of the younger children, which can lead to a more disturbed relationship later in their lives.

The oldest sibling is a role model for the other children, especially when it comes to how to behave in public and at home. They can guide them in many ways, including how to act around adults, how to behave with their peers and even how to play with children.

In fact, according to a study published in the Journal of Social Psychology, older siblings are one of the most influential influences on their younger sibling’s social adjustment. They can affect whether or not a child engages in antisocial behavior, substance abuse and other forms of traumatic stress, says Bert Burraston, Ph.D., a researcher at Wichita State University and the Oregon Social Learning Center.

Another positive result of having older siblings raise younger siblings is that they are likely to encourage the children to do their best in school. That helps to develop self-esteem and a sense of achievement.

Older siblings can also influence their younger siblings by their behaviors, according to a study published in the journal Child Development. They can model how to treat others and make them feel special, which in turn may have a positive effect on the children’s self-esteem.

They can also teach their younger siblings how to behave with their friends and other family members, which can have a positive impact on the children’s relationships with their parents and peers.

These effects are most apparent in toddlerhood when a sibling can provide support in language development, how to stand up for yourself and learn about sharing. As a child grows older, they can offer more practical assistance such as helping their sister with her schoolwork or navigating friendships outside the home, suggests the study’s authors.

This can be especially true of boys with an older sister, who can model how to treat girls well and act like an equal in the home.

However, this can also lead to an adverse effect when the older sibling is a bully or starts to boss the younger ones, which can have a more negative impact on their relationships.

The best way to combat this behavior is to let the older child learn how to be a good role model for their younger siblings. This can help to prevent the sibling from acting like a bully or bossy and also help to build a strong bond between them.