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Dario D.
04-28-2007, 12:33 PM
Hi all.

I'm working on a novel (my second), and have run into a problem. I have a brother-sister pair who are going through a crisis, and helping each other out, but I don't know first-hand how brother-sister chemistry works, because I have no sister.

Therefor, could some of you enlighten me as to what's different about a brother/sister relationship compared to, say, mother/son? I know all about mother/son, but I don't know how a brother/sister pair in their late teens or early twenties would behave in a time of crisis, especially regarding care of each other. It's hard to draw the line between people saying, "aww, how nice of them," and, "what are they, each other's parents?" Being a guy with only two brothers has made balancing this character relationship kind of a challenge, so I'm doing some research.

Any insight is greatly appreciated. I want to get this one right.
Thanks. :)

johnnysannie
04-28-2007, 05:59 PM
This is complex question. Like any type of relationship, all brother/sister relationships are not the same. I know people who have very little to do with their siblings and others who are very close. Age order also makes a difference - i.e. an older sister tends to be more protective, almost like a mini-mother to a younger brother and older brothers are often more protective about a "baby" sister.

In my experience, as a sister, a brother-sister relationship is familiar. You've grown up in the same home, with the same people, had many of the same experiences so you're bonded because you've shared many things, good and bad. Examples - you shared the death of a relative and mourned; you snuck your first drink together; you know that Aunt Marge is a flake and that Uncle Whosis gets drunk every Christmas. A brother/sister is someone who knows your flaws but likes and loves you anyway. They've seen your zits, watched you barf, and you've done the same for them.

In a really good or close brother/sister relationship you're like good friends who are also related.

I wouldn't equate it with a mother/son relationship. The dynamics are different.

Lyra Jean
04-28-2007, 06:45 PM
It depends on age and who is the older one.

I'm the sister and older by 2-3 years. Yeah I can't remember how old my little brother is. Although I don't pick on him in a mean way anymore, I used to be mean to him all the time. But don't let me catch you picking on my little brother or I'll cause you trouble. Of course that was when we were younger and it doesn't happen anymore.

We mostly watch TV together and just hang out. We get along very well.

Another thing to consider is are there other siblings besides the brother/sister. Are there other brothers and sisters? And if there are why are these two close with each other and not with the others?

johnrobison
04-28-2007, 06:49 PM
Sharp sticks

Dead snakes

Grease

Things under the bed

Angelinity
04-28-2007, 07:12 PM
if the two are the only children, there's bound to be competition, especially if they're very close in age -- e.g. two years or less.

chances are they would have very different personalitites, maybe even divergent -- i think some underlying conflict always makes the basis of such a relationship (provided above conditions are met -- when there are other siblings, or the age difference is greater, the relationship is not as up-close and personal, and possibly the conflict might be lessened.)

this is a very interesting premise, one that gives you wide berth in exploring the psychology of sibling relationships -- good luck!

Sohia Rose
04-28-2007, 07:22 PM
When my brother and I (the sister) were pre-teen (he’s two years older than me), I wanted to hang out with him and his friends all the time. I was a tomboy, playing football (not the soccer kind), play fighting, climbing trees, etc. Then I discovered boys and my own friends. I no longer took interest in his activities.

As we got older (young adult), we had a lot of sibling rivalry and competition for my mother’s attention. We were very competitive towards each other. Each of us wanted to impress the family first at being the best at achieving things. That’s when I realized that my mother favored my brother more (he was a momma’s boy) and I was the black sheep, although she never admitted to it. So I tried harder. And I was more independent.

When we left the nest, my brother pretty much abandoned my mom, so I had to be there more for her. Though now in our 30s, we have a more mature relationship with each other. We’re not afraid to share our feelings because we had been through so much together (an abusive, alcoholic father and poverty). For example, when my brother fought in the Iraq war, he told me he was afraid. I told him he had a right to be and he didn’t need to be “macho” in front of me because I’ve seen him at his worst, like when he had the Chicken Pox at 18 years old. :)

My brother trusts me and he knows that I would never do anything to hurt him. Oftentimes, he tells me things that he can’t (or won’t) tell my mother because she would get too worried. He told me once that he almost died in battle (a missile hit the camp and killed two of his army buddies), but not to tell mom. Or my mom would call me and tell me that she had a cancer scare, but not to tell my brother. That kind of sucks because what makes them think I’m strong enough to handle that kind of information? My brother still thinks I’m the tough little girl he grew up with. I’m a woman now.

Feel free to probe me for more questions.

Maryn
04-28-2007, 07:30 PM
There's a huge variety, of course. Our kids, now young adults, were best friends growing up, unlike many of their friends whose relationships with their siblings was adversarial. (FWIW, it's an older daughter, a son 18 months younger.) They used to be taken for twins, because they were often together and were about the same size. Now they're occasionally taken for a couple (which our daughter finds insulting because our son's too geeky for her).

I haven't observed them in crisis mode since they've been adults, but I imagine it would be very like a long-married couple or longtime best friends in crisis mode, very different from a mother-son relationship which has someone in an elevated role who would be deferred to if necessary and who would be at least figuratively in charge.

They'd definitely consider one another as equals, and they'd be able to speak frankly while being careful not to hurt feelings. And just like when they were kids, they'd be fiercely protective and supportive of one another, without being maternal or paternal. Little or no touching (which they both find creepy), BTW, even if one's in tears.

Maryn, whose kids were so close we made them attend different colleges

pconsidine
04-28-2007, 08:02 PM
I have two brothers and two sisters, so there are a number of different dynamics at work. My older brother and sister and I are basically Irish triplets (there are three years between my older brother and I). We have a very different dynamic between the three of us than that of my younger siblings, who were much more spaced out (three years between us all). So I have very different relationships with each of my sisters.

With my older sister, she has a very motherly attitude towards me. My older brother and sister and I never really got along as kids. We were always competing for what seemed to be scarce resources - parental love and attention. There are times when I think that my sister views me as an object to be won in the competition between her and my older brother. After all, of the three of us, I'm the baby. I think she's always been very mindful of the trials we went through as kids and still seeks to ally herself with me against my older brother.

My younger sister, by contrast, formed a close relationship with my younger brother (the baby of the family), almost to the exclusion of the rest of us. We have a very loving relationship now, but as kids, we seemed to travel in different orbits.

When I was going through my own crisis last year, I felt like the only people I could really turn to were my siblings. Partly, it was because they were the ones who have known me the longest. Most of my other friends didn't have any frame of reference for who I was before the crisis, so they weren't really much help in providing the kind of perspective that I needed. I think that's the real advantage of siblings when dealing with hardship. They're the ones with the longest view, but without the parental baggage (usually). Looking back, I think my younger sister was the most help for exactly that reason. Since we had really only developed our relationship as adults, she was much better able to listen without judging and speak without an agenda.

I guess my question is "Just how screwed up do you want your characters to be?" Because if you want dysfunctional psychos, I've got tons of stories for you.

Jersey Chick
04-28-2007, 08:50 PM
I'm older than my brother by 4 years and when we were kids, I tormented him. But anyone else who dared try got their head handed to them. As we got older, we literally could not be in the same room for more than 30 seconds because we'd try to kill each other.

Fast forward to late teens/early twenties - my "little" brother took over the role of protector and I learned he wasn't such a pain to have around any more. It took a while, but we learned to get along and actually liked each other. The older we got, the better friends we became - we kept secrets for each other from mom - like the party he threw the one time she actually went away, or the nights I snuck out of the house... to this day, we could write a book about the things my mom never found out about.

He's now one of my best friends. He gave me away at my wedding. We can talk about everything and anything. We just needed to grow up a little. :)

MajorDrums
04-28-2007, 09:07 PM
I have a twin brother. Though I am only 1 minute older than him, I was a whole head taller when we were kids. I was also stronger, so I was like the protective older sister. After puberty, we were more "equal" in terms of height, and we also shared a lot of the same friends. We went to separate universities, but when we got back together on the holidays, it was like no time or distance had passed; we were best friends. Now we are in our late twenties, and he's more protective over me (sometimes:tongue ).

I also have an older brother, but we were never close. He is my father's son and he lived with his mother. My brother and I always got along with our sibling, but we barely knew him.

Sean D. Schaffer
04-28-2007, 09:22 PM
I got along with my mother a lot better than I got along with my sister.

Of course my experience is with a sister 9 years my elder, so I don't suppose I'm of much help here, am I?

But I definitely have an easier relationship with my mother than I do with my sister.

A much easier relationship.

Sohia Rose
04-28-2007, 10:10 PM
Now you have me thinking about the relationship I have with my family. :tongue

It’s interesting how my brother (who’s 36 yrs old now) still treats me like his “little” sister (I’m 34). And my mom treats me like a woman: She talks to me like a woman, about sex and “adult” issues. But my brother, somehow, talks at me, not to me. But I think he respects me because I have a stable lifestyle, something I think he can be proud of.

In our early 20s, I remember him telling me he used to show his friends my photograph, saying, “Look, my sister looks like a model.” I wanted to be a fashion model back them, so I dressed the part. But I think it’s interesting because no brother––at least I don’t think––would want their friends ogling their sister. Weird. He was never the protective type, although I have NEVER dated any of his friends.

kdnxdr
04-28-2007, 10:29 PM
I'm a grandma now but grew up as the eldest of four, me and three younger brothers. There is about 2 years difference between the first three of us and the last two are only 10 months apart.

Even at a young age, I was always put "in charge" of keeping an eye on the three boys. If anything happened, I was going to have to answer to my parents as to why it happened. I took my duty pretty seriously. The oldest of the three boys was a maverick from a very young age. He tortured the two little ones, making them his recruitees for various obstacle courses and dangerous assignments. The oldest was always playing soldier. (He's still military.) I was always rescuing the two younger ones and being the referee.

The older one has an incredible sense of imagination and sense of adventure. He was alot of fun and until about age 13, he and I were always in a competition. I always resented that he could draw and I couldn't. Being a tomboy, we had a great time exploring creeks, climbing trees, playing sports and seeing who was the best at everything. When he was tormenting the little ones, he knew I would knock him out and we kept a healthy truce except when necessary.

As the oldest, I was "old school" and believed that I had the right to leave the house first. Our parents had alot of issues and we all were negatively impacted by that. When I was 18, that rat tested out of highschool at 17, his junior year, and joined the navy! I almost strangled him, (seriously) when he said he was leaving. In my mind, he had a family obligation to stay and help mom and dad with the little ones.

He roamed the world over the years and we have not kept in contact much. Recently, we have begun to communicate again and have discovered that the childhood closeness that we had is still there. We can talk about anything and enjoy each other's company very much. I'm hoping he makes it through his last tour in Iraq before he retires next year. I'm really hoping and praying that I have many more opportunities to make up for lost time when he gets out.

The middle brother and I have found a close relationship in our maturity that didn't really exist much when we were young. I loved him but we were not close. Now, we have great times together and love having lengthy conversations.

The little one has always been the one to suffer without anyone to really share his life with in the family. He was so precious as a child but has grown up with a huge chip on his shoulder. He's pretty cynicle about family and I understand why. He perceives me as the older/oldest dominating sibling. I cut his hair once when I was in high school and he was about eight or so. I put a bowl on his head. He's never forgiven me.

Saanen
04-29-2007, 01:44 AM
I'm a year and a half older than my brother, and we don't have any other siblings. We've always been pretty close, but that may have been partly our family's circumstances too. Our parents were divorced when I was three and Mom never remarried, so it was just Mom, me, and my brother against the world (so to speak) and it made us all close.

When we were smaller, my brother used to tag along with me and my friends. As we both got older, though, we kind of grew apart and had our separate groups of friends. I think I dated one of my brother's friends briefly, but that was pretty much the only overlap we had during junior high and high school. On the other hand, we still did stuff together and had interesting conversations. I remember one day when we were both in high school, my brother and I for some reason walked across town and down to the river and back, a day-long trek; we talked about science and movies and I remember we sang a lot. So we've definitely always been pretty close. On the other hand, we did our share of fighting. I have a scar on my forehead from when I was seven and my brother whacked me with a wrench. I'd remind him of that more often, except he always counters with the time I was 13 and threw a music stand at him, which bounced up off his shoe and cut his eyeball (only a minor injury, fortunately, but I swear we never had another physical altercation after that).

My brother now has a family and three sons of his own and last year I moved nearby so I get to see them pretty often. We don't always have time to talk, but when we do we still have good conversations. I talk about my writing and he tells me what games he's designing, and we remind each other of stupid stuff we did when we were kids. :)

PattiTheWicked
04-29-2007, 01:58 AM
I think the brother-sister dynamic varies from one family to the next. My brother and I are nearly four years apart, and as kids we didn't get along very well -- he would rat me out in a heartbeat. We just never had much in common. As adults, we live about a thousand miles apart and talk on the phone about twice a year. It's not that we don't get along -- when we do talk we have a great time -- it's just that we don't have much to say to one another. We STILL don't have anything in common.

If I was having a crisis, unless it concerned one of my parents, my brother is probably the last person I'd look to for guidance.

sunna
04-29-2007, 02:09 AM
My little brother and I once decided that throwing ourselves off the porch roof with umbrellas was a great idea. Mary Poppins was banned in our house forever after. :)
In my family the sibling relationships - particularly brother/sister - could probably be (generally) defined as:
tension with underlying affection, or;
affection with underlying tension.
With a lot of insults, arguments, jokes, sniping, deliberate humiliation, unintentional humiliation, midnight confessions, stupid decisions, booze, and waterballoons thrown in. Often recorded for posterity so one can hold it over the other's head later. We have fun. We laugh at/complain about the 'rents. We get annoyed and bring up the above-mentioned adventures, in a not-very-flattering light. We know too much about each other for either/any of us to stand on dignity for very long. At least now that we're all grown up (or as grown up as we're ever getting), personal injury is unlikely.
I think it's different for everyone, though. I have friends who barely speak to their brothers/sisters, or who treat each other like glass. Or punching bags. It's as dependent on personality & upbringing as friendships are.

AnnieColleen
04-29-2007, 02:39 AM
So much of it depends on personality. I'm the oldest of 5, and the only one I see much of just now is the youngest since he's the only one still at home. We're very similar in personality, but there's a definite seniority dynamic that didn't happen with the two brothers closer in age to me. I get along decently well with all three, but don't have much contact with the older two any more due to personality/social differences (plus they live out of town/state). The less-frequent get-togethers can still be a blast, though!

My little sister was more on the outside when we were younger because there's a four-year gap between her and the youngest of the older three, but now she fits in better with the boys than I do (going out to hockey games, concerts, whatever). She still squabbles constantly with youngest brother (5-year age gap).

There is big-issue solidarity, if that makes sense -- olders helping youngers with college costs, e.g. -- but that doesn't come up much in day-to-day life. Mom tends to be the focal point for communication in a lot of situations.

kdnxdr
04-29-2007, 02:54 AM
My brother and I jumped off the roof of our house, too! We had a real wwII parachute that a neighbor gave us. Mom was napping and we got about 8 kids jumping with us. Thank goodness for damp soil and ranchstyle houses!

Plot Device
04-29-2007, 03:05 AM
When you're brother and sister, you're pals with each other. And there's no sex, and also no THOUGHTS of sex.

So, think of a guy friend, and pretend he's a girl. I know that sounds over-simplified, but the essense of brother-sister is pals.

Provrb1810meggy
04-29-2007, 04:12 AM
I'll speak as a 14 year old with an older 22 year old brother. When I was younger, he was always mean to me and always annoying. He'd give me a bunch of lies and try to make me believe them. I, of course, would whine, cry, and rat on him. Still, I loved him and we did have some fun together, but usually that was because we were just having fun and goofing around. Now that I've gotten older, I think he appreciates my opinions more and we can talk about things, like my plans for the future, his plans for the future, politics, and just life in general, though that annoying element never fully goes away.

Elektra
04-29-2007, 04:28 AM
It all depends. My brother and I have always hated each other. Not normal sibling rivalry, but to the point that our parents literally forbade our being in the same room as each other. In a crisis, neither one of us would even think of looking to the other for help. And to be honest, I'm sure there are lovely brother/sister relationships, but every other person I've spoken with has agreed that their relationship with their sibling is exactly the same.

pconsidine
04-29-2007, 07:03 AM
But I think it’s interesting because no brother––at least I don’t think––would want their friends ogling their sister. Weird. Not necessarily. It never bothered me that guys thought my sisters were attractive. In fact, one of my oldest friends had a thing for my younger sister for quite a while. There's is a degree of pride in people thinking your younger sister is attractive, but it usually has something to do with a kind of paternal feeling. That doesn't always equate with protective behavior, but more a feeling of approval-by-association.

What was weird, though, was when my sister's friends became my friends (through a manner I'm still not entirely clear on). I suspect it had a lot to do with the fact that I was an older guy and could still be thought of as cool just by listening to them.

Criminy - what a petrie dish sibling dynamics are.

Kentuk
04-29-2007, 08:31 AM
Late teens/early twenties, that means they should have had time to establish an adult relationship. So she respects his excellent driving reactions and ability to make the car run again and he respects that she is real good at reading people and figuring out a diplomatic way of approaching a situation. Conversly she knows he is a sucker for any girl who smiles at him and he knows that she can get so emotional she can't do anything and they help each other to get through.

Zoombie
04-29-2007, 09:23 AM
When you're brother and sister, you're pals with each other. And there's no sex, and also no THOUGHTS of sex.

It is a poor reflection on the state of my mind when I saw the title of this thread, the FIRST thought through my mind was: "What? An incsest thread? Huh?"

My sister is very different from me...and it's hard to expalin. We've always enjoyed one anothers company, but not in a "Hey, we're hanging out buddy kind of way", but more of a "Yo," sort of way. As in we didn't spend a lot of time with one another, but we were never uncomfortable being near eachother.

But the weird thing is, even though we are very different (She likes fantasy romance, I like hard sci-fi. She is a mormon, I'm an atheist. Her room is immaculate, my room is a pig stye. She has boobs, I do not and so on), we're also very the same. We both laugh at similar things, we both like the same kind of music (With the exception of country music. How she stands country is as big a mystery to me as why she belives in the Mormon faith.)

Hope that helps.

PS: Her becoming a Mormon always struck me as a faintly amusing sitation. My dad is atheist, my mum is atheist, my brother is atheist, I am atheist and my sister is Mormon. She was baptized at eighteen...but it wasn't a big fight. We willingly and cheerfully allowed her to become Mormon becuase...well...she's still my sister, and I still love her to peices. She's got to do what she thinks is right. Right?

Dario D.
04-29-2007, 10:20 AM
Thanks for the insight so far, all. :) It's really helpful.


...when I saw the title of this thread, the FIRST thought through my mind was: "What? An incsest thread? Huh?"
Oops. Maybe I should have titled it: "Brother/Sister Friendships". I guess "relationship" strikes the wrong chord if you look at it that way. (I didn't see it that way until I took another look at it, after you said that) ;)

--

By the way, I'll ask a more specific question that I was going to ask in the initial post, before I trimmed it down:
According to the western definition of sister, would you find it unusual to see a sister acting like a mother in regard to simple affections? For example: a mother is prone to adjusting a colar, resting a hand on a shoulder, kissing a cheek, etc.

According to what I've read, I know this type of sister was a lot more common in the late 1800's and early 1900's, especially when they were the older ones. Nowadays, I imagine it must be something of a rarity, but would it strike you as strange to see this behavior today? Is it still in the sister handbook, or has it been entirely discarded by society yet? I wouldn't know, because it's something I've only read about. I'd have to go sit in someone's house to see first-hand.

- The characters in my book aren't conventional in any sense of the word, and are specifically going against mainstream society in the hope of finding a better way to live. They believe that society and culture is just about the worst thing to happen to a man throughout his life, and suffer oppression because of their views. Because of the way they think, they're certainly more flexible as far as their social ethics (while remaining very agreeable to readers), and make a point of trying to be... how do you say?... "perfect" people, as they try to develop a vision of how a perfect world and perfect culture would be.

In light of that, the characters in question won't be exactly *your* definition of brother and sister, but I'm making absolute certain to keep them in line with what people imagine a good brother or sister could/should be. The book is all about breaking the mold of who society tells you (and limits you) to be, so this will take the typical sibling relationship in a new direction, among many, many other things that the characters find broken and limited in our world today.

Anything that makes people say "that's weird" is a mistake, which is why I've come here, trying to find the line between "new idea" and "weird idea", so that I don't cross over it. The response I'm looking for is people wishing they could switch siblings with the characters (or better yet, wanting to be more like them), so it's important not to step in the mud with this one, or all that is lost.

I suppose the best way to tackle this is just to have someone read the book with a red pen.

Saanen
04-29-2007, 04:45 PM
According to the western definition of sister, would you find it unusual to see a sister acting like a mother in regard to simple affections? For example: a mother is prone to adjusting a colar, resting a hand on a shoulder, kissing a cheek, etc.

Maybe, IF the sister was considerably older than the brother (ten years or more), she MIGHT treat the brother in a very motherly way. But for the most part brothers and sisters don't have that kind of dynamic. I know there must be exceptions, but I would never in a million years dream of adjusting my brother's collar, much less kissing him on the cheek (ick). As Maryn mentioned above, there's little or no touching between brother and sister siblings. My brother aced his Tae Kwon Do black belt test yesterday, but I didn't hug him or clap him on the shoulder or even shake his hand the way I would have if he was a friend or a female relative. (I should add, hastily, that I did congratulate him and we spent lunch discussing the glory that was his sparring, lol.)

Very small children are a different story, since under-ten girls tend to be very motherly toward younger siblings, but it doesn't look like that would apply to your characters.

Maryn
04-29-2007, 06:17 PM
By the way, I'll ask a more specific question that I was going to ask in the initial post, before I trimmed it down:
According to the western definition of sister, would you find it unusual to see a sister acting like a mother in regard to simple affections? For example: a mother is prone to adjusting a colar, resting a hand on a shoulder, kissing a cheek, etc.

According to what I've read, I know this type of sister was a lot more common in the late 1800's and early 1900's, especially when they were the older ones. Nowadays, I imagine it must be something of a rarity, but would it strike you as strange to see this behavior today? Is it still in the sister handbook, or has it been entirely discarded by society yet? I wouldn't know, because it's something I've only read about. I'd have to go sit in someone's house to see first-hand.My kids, close bond, absolutely wouldn't touch one another that way. They'd annouce, "Your collar's messed up," and offer comfort, affection, or congratulations verbally. Casual physical contact just doesn't happen between them, even if it's non-sexual and caring. I suspect that kind of touch would feel creepy-incestuous, even among enlightened people who are trying to find a better way to interact at human beings.

Maryn, wondering if one would hug the other under any circumstances

sunna
04-29-2007, 06:43 PM
According to the western definition of sister, would you find it unusual to see a sister acting like a mother in regard to simple affections? For example: a mother is prone to adjusting a colar, resting a hand on a shoulder, kissing a cheek, etc.

I think I would probably find it odd, myself. Hugs, between adult siblings, are ok in greetings/goodbyes, or for comfort in extreme cases. They just feel a bit weird otherwise. Simple affectionate gestures - if they exist at all, they mostly seem to be through play-fighting, i.e., messing someone's hair up, smacking them with a pillow or elbowing them (lightly) in the ribs. Maybe the element of pretend violence makes it safe to touch someone who's in that incest-taboo category? I dunno.
But this is just my family, and we're a bit weird. :)

Elektra
04-29-2007, 06:50 PM
Off topic: Did anyone else ever find the interactions between Monica and Ross on Friends really creepy? I vividly remember her sometimes sitting in his lap at the coffee shop, and all I could think was "She's your SISTER!"

Beyondian
04-30-2007, 07:15 AM
By the way, I'll ask a more specific question that I was going to ask in the initial post, before I trimmed it down:
According to the western definition of sister, would you find it unusual to see a sister acting like a mother in regard to simple affections? For example: a mother is prone to adjusting a colar, resting a hand on a shoulder, kissing a cheek, etc.

According to what I've read, I know this type of sister was a lot more common in the late 1800's and early 1900's, especially when they were the older ones. Nowadays, I imagine it must be something of a rarity, but would it strike you as strange to see this behavior today? Is it still in the sister handbook, or has it been entirely discarded by society yet? I wouldn't know, because it's something I've only read about. I'd have to go sit in someone's house to see first-hand.

Does that mean I'm old-fashioned? Cool.
Honestly, I've got three brothers (one older, two younger) and I guess I do act a bit motherly with the younger ones. I don't kiss their cheeks, because they are most embarassed, but I do straighten their ties and pat their shoulders and make them breakfast some mornings, do their ironing if they're pressed for time, etc.
With my big brother, we've been best friends for our entire lives. Hugs are not uncommon. Neither is kissing his cheek. Yes, people do take us for a couple. Yes we were also thought to be twins when we were younger. Yes this does irritate us. (Does anyone know of a place where we can get T-shirts with 'HE/SHE is my BROTHER/SISTER' in neon flashing lights?)
We're a very close family. We do most things together, share a lot of our opinions and ideas, work and play together, heck! We've even all been checkout operators at the same store. I know this isn't very common (at least not in my experience) but its the way we are. Homeschooling probably helped.
I like having my brothers around. Being the only girl, I sort of become the hub of most of our activities. So, no. I wouldn't be surprised by a brother and sister who have a close relationship like that.

Dario D.
04-30-2007, 07:31 AM
Does that mean I'm old-fashioned?
No, I'd say you're cool-fashioned. :) Homeschool too? Now that's my style. I know that I wouldn't have half my talents/qualities if it weren't for homeschool (http://www.chec.org/Legislative/News/HomeschoolingStatistics/Index.html). It really lets one become an individual, and be able to contemplate life, and learn about one's self, without always fighting for survival in the social battlefield. I really cannot bear to imagine what I'd be doing with my life if I had stayed in public school. I wrote a whole book that mirrors these differences.

And thanks for your input. Really appreciated. (and thanks to you all) :) I'm getting the info I needed.

Beyondian
04-30-2007, 07:39 AM
No, I'd say you're cool-fashioned. :)
Why, thank you! :)
Huh. You were homeschooled too? I don't meet very many people who were (but then, I live on an Island). I blame homeschooling for my great relationship with my family, my two novels (unpublished), my passion for writing, and many other things. Good to have something to blame. :D
I'm glad you're getting the information you need.

pconsidine
04-30-2007, 07:55 AM
My older sister has been known to be a bit motherly toward me now and then. Not to the point of cleaning my face with her spit or anything like that, but she will tuck in a shirt tag or something like that. And we have also been known to give each other hugs and a quick peck.

I think it's highly age dependent. As I said earlier, we're all in our 30s now, so things that would have been unthinkable in our teens are much more common now.

Southern_girl29
04-30-2007, 08:44 AM
I wouldn't kiss my brother on the cheek, and I can't remember the last time I hugged him. Probably when my uncle died and that was nine years ago. But, I will pat him on the shoulder or fix his collar.

I'm the oldest of three. My mom never married mine and my brother's dad, so when she married my step-dad and had our sister, we often felt left out. It was me and him against the world in a way. He was born with a very minor disability (it's never stopped him from doing anything at all), so I was fiercely protective of him growing up. In fact, the only time I've ever punched anyone was in the fifth grade when a boy in my grade was picking on him. I let him have it. Luckily, the principal at our school had a brother who was disabled, understood why I did it and let me go with just a lecture.

As we got older (there are three years between us), we found different ways of trying to get attention from our mom and stepdad. I was the good girl, made good grades, did what they wanted me to, etc. He acted out, got into drugs and dropped out of school. We kind of drifted apart during these years, although he always called me when he had a crisis. In fact, I was the first person who knew he was going to be a father a few years ago. This was the turning point in his life, and he's now the proud father of two children.

We aren't really all that close right now. Our lifestyles are really different and we have two totally different styles of parenting. However, my daughter and his oldest son are only six months apart, and they are best friends. We are doing everything to encourage that.

When I'm in a crisis, I don't turn to either of my siblings. Well, last year, when my husband was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, I did turn to my younger sister, but it felt really weird. It's almost like I'm the one who's supposed to be there when they have a crisis, not the other way around.

The_Grand_Duchess
04-30-2007, 11:45 PM
I'm six years older than my brother. We stopped fighting with eachother a long time ago, before I was a teenager. I also have a little sister that is a year younger than my brother.

As grown ups (well, I'm the only really grown up but the other two are legally adults!) we're a team. Given crisis we relie on eachother. We're all we've got and so we're there for eachother. Its hard to describe the bond. It's just there. My brother knows that I'll be there for him like I know I can count on him.

I'm going to call my siblings now.

DamaNegra
05-01-2007, 12:46 AM
In my case, there is not much of a relationship. I bear with him because I have no other choice, we live on the same house and will continue doing so for at least 5 more years.

Otherwise, he's the kind of person I would never get along with. He's spoiled, selfish, cares more about money than about people, can't talk about anything that's not Nintendo or Dragon Ball and does nothing but play Nintendo (yes, you guessed, DB).

So yeah, my relationship with him stretches only as far as living in the same house and being stuck together on family outings. But it has more to do with personality.

talkwrite
05-01-2007, 07:12 PM
My brother and I are the only kids and I am younger by three years. We faced divorce and then the death of one parent in our teens. He withdrew, I became the parent for both of us. Now I hear that was pretty standard in times and a culture where emotional support is not offered to children facing crisis. I have assisted with counseling parents of young children facing the death of a spouse on how to use language to encourage, bolster and comfort. So take into account what support system you add because that interraction or lack thereof will change behavioral responses. Hope this helps!

Dario D.
05-05-2007, 04:32 AM
Hope this helps!

Sure does. :) Thanks a lot (and to everyone else).

johnnysannie
05-05-2007, 05:22 PM
[QUOTE=Dario D.;1299005]Thanks for the insight so far, all. :) It's really helpful.



By the way, I'll ask a more specific question that I was going to ask in the initial post, before I trimmed it down:
According to the western definition of sister, would you find it unusual to see a sister acting like a mother in regard to simple affections? For example: a mother is prone to adjusting a colar, resting a hand on a shoulder, kissing a cheek, etc.

According to what I've read, I know this type of sister was a lot more common in the late 1800's and early 1900's, especially when they were the older ones. Nowadays, I imagine it must be something of a rarity, but would it strike you as strange to see this behavior today? QUOTE]


I would not find it strange at all. I do tend to be old-fashioned but small expressions of affection are commonplace in my family - not just with a brother or sister but with cousins as well.


I think a lot of the views on this would be based on how you were raised and what the family norms were.

Cate
05-05-2007, 06:45 PM
Just came across this thread....very interesting!

I was raised in a very affectionate Irish family and it is nothing for my bro and I to hug, peck on the cheek or top of the head and even walk together arm in arm. I wouldn't call it motherly though--more like a pal--kind of like teenage girls might do with each other; link arms, etc.

I actually am suprised that more people aren't affectionate with their brothers. Goes to show you that you always think how you grew up is "the norm" and it usually isn't!

Storyteller5
05-06-2007, 01:12 AM
I agree this is an interesting thread. My brother is eight years younger than me so I moved out when he was ten. The result? I don't really know him very well. We can talk and it's not awkward, but we aren't especially close. I think the last time we hugged was my wedding five years ago. My family isn't really affectionate in touchy way. :)