“Should siblings have expectations of each other? Is it possible to, or can we successfully persuade our kids to be connected/close to their family?”
I raised these questions during a discussion at a small inter-generational lunch gathering …
Along with hundreds of others, the previous day I’d been at the funeral of an esteemed member of the community. I was impressed by the sibling support shown to each other and to their remaining parent.
Of course, eulogies generally extol the supposed virtues of the deceased, Everyone inevitably compares themselves to that angelic person and his/her relationships.
My mom, an only child, has a romanticized view of how siblings should behave. I’ve argued with her about the reality of sibling relationships – and then she raises the interaction of my late mother-in-law with her six siblings. All gone now, they were a rare bunch. She was the eldest; she adored her brothers and sisters, and they did her. There are many legendary stories about how, in spite of their differences in age, sex, station, status in the community, skills, talents, abilities to communicate, and even the personalities of spouses, the siblings all kept in touch regularly and completely supported each other.
I’ve often thought about my relationship with my brothers, my kids with each other, my husband with his brother, my in-laws with theirs.
Again, I ask if it’s possible to ensure that our kids respect, enjoy and support each other after we are gone?
Can we? Can they? Should we? Should they?
What say you?