Sibling Issues (Updated January 2018) (Center for Parent Information & Resources, CPIR)
In any family, each sibling is unique, important, and special. So are the relationships they have with each other. Brothers and sisters influence each other and play important roles in each other’s lives. Indeed, sibling relationships make up a child’s first social network and are the basis for his or her interactions with people outside the family.
Brothers and sisters are playmates first; as they mature, they take on new roles with each other. Over the years, they may be many things to each other — teacher, friend, companion, follower, protector, enemy, competitor, confidant, role model. This relationship can be powerfully affected by a sibling’s disability or chronic illness.