What Is a Sibling?

Although the word sibling calls to mind a blood relationship, being a sibling is not just about blood. A brother or sister connection can be made socially. It does take two or more children in a family to have a sibling. This can be brothers and sisters, brothers and brothers, or sisters and sisters. But being a sibling is not just biology. Full siblings, born of the same biological mom and dad, are the most common form. But we can also be siblings with one parent in common, which we call half siblings. We can also say someone is our sibling and have no genetic connection. Stepsiblings are blended together through marriage, not through blood. We have adopted siblings, foster siblings, even something called fictive siblings, like a blood brother. Fictive siblings are accepted into a family through custom or just plain choice. Think of a sorority sister . So being a sibling is not just blood but some degree of common genes, common history, common family values and culture or a legal status. Whatever the tie—blood, marriage, or custom—it is our deepest bond in the family, and almost 96 percent of us have a least one sibling. With those odds, it is worth repairing your relationship.

About momlovesyoubest

Cathy Cress holds an MSW in Aging from U.C. Berkeley. Her new book Mom Loves You Best, Forgiving and Forging Sibling Relationships , New Horizon Press, was published October 2010. Cress’s book , Handbook of Geriatric Care Management, Jones and Bartlett, is the bible of geriatric care management and is out out in a third edition in February 2011 .Her book Care Managers, Working With the Aging Family, Jones and Bartlett,2008 is one of the few major books on the aging family. Ms. Cress is the founder of GCM Consult ,working with small and national who want to add or launch GCM businesses. She is on the faculty at the University of Florida in their on line master’s in geriatric care management -GCM . She has taught geriatric care management at San Francisco State University , UC Berkeley and teaches at Cabrillo College and San Mateo College. She was founder and director of Cresscare, a GCM business, for 25 years.
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