These are rather common ideas among older brothers of sisters. He is not only being groomed for a role of caring and helping, but also for leading and taking charge vis-a-vis a girl. He can more easily accept his little sister if he is four or five years older than she, even if he does experience conflicts more consciously and more clearly than a boy who is closer to his sister in age.
If, on the other hand, he is merely one or two years older than she, the sex of his sibling escapes his notice at first. The baby is a competitor for the favor and affection of the parents, even a rival for sheer food. Under this frightening situation, it may take longer than usual that is, some time up to his fifth year to lose his fear that his parents favor his sister, that she receives more than he ever did, and that she is called upon far less to work and apply herself, The younger sister of a brother tends to develop into a particularly feminine person.
She learns to look up to her brother and to accept not only his protection and care, but also his leadership. She seems to know that he likes her and that she can depend on him. There are things she need not do, such as hard physical work or tasks where she may get dirty. She need not fend for herself, for instance with other children at home or on the playground.
Her brother takes care of that. Her father and mother are usually content with the role she plays. She is the little darling of the family. Her father is kind, helpful, and forgiving, and her mother also does not object to her daughter's special treatment. All family members seem to recognize that they can practice relationships with the other sex in various ways: brother and sister can play father and mother with each other. The brother can also play father vis-i-vis mother, the sister mother visvis father. The brother can usually identify easily with his father, the sister with her mother.
In summary we may say that both siblings, the older brother of a sister and the younger sister of a brother, get used to life with a peer of the opposite sex. The brother also tends to assume a role of leadership and responsibility with girls other than his sister. The younger sister of a brother, in turn, is likely to let other boys lead.
Outside the family both siblings remain more interested in contacts with peers of the opposite sex than with those of the same sex. The older sister of a brother will generally be three years old when her sibling arrives, and it soon dawns on her that his sex has its advantages. She can play mother for her little brother, Just as mother does with both of them and with father. She has to take care of the little one, has to guard and protect him and will be held responsible for him by the parents, but she also gets a little in return: he looks up to her.
He appreciates and loves her and before long learns to do her courtesies and favors too, however slight and shallow they may be. The older sister seems to realize that her younger brother, being the first and only boy in the family, tends to be taken more seriously and to be valued somewhat higher than herself. If she wants to be sure of her parents' affection, she must take care of him. If she is four or five years older than her brother, she becomes accustomed to the situation even more quickly than if the age difference is only three years, but this does not mean mat there are no fights and quarrels.
In fact, the two siblings speak their minds in no uncertain terms at times. If the age difference between the sister and tihe brother is merely one or two years, then the sister feels more threatened by his arrival and has trouble expressing her feelings.
She may take up to her fifth year of life to get used to her little brother before she is able to adopt a nurturing attitude toward him. In each case, the role of maternal care and responsibility as well as an awareness of her somewhat lesser importance in the family stays with her far into adulthood. She can handle boys well anywhere. She senses their interests, may even adopt those interests herself and subordinate her own.
She can identify more readily. She cart give them comfort and consolation, and does it with a certain satisfaction. When other people are in trouble, they come to her, and she likes that The younger brother of a sister is usually allowed to pursue his own wishes and interests in a rather carefree and sometimes even in a selfish or incoherent manner. He is treated more tolerantly and more generously than his big sister, and frequently more so than, say, a younger brother of a brother.
The younger brother of a sister increasingly learns to understand his sister better, but he does so ultimately for his own purposes.
He tends to take her help and motherly care as a matter of course. If he cannot get what he wants, he finds ways to lure his sister or other girls into acting as mother on his behalf. A little pretense of helplessness or a minor compliment may already do the trick. There are also good possibilities for identification and interaction with the parents in this configuration.
The older sister can play mother for her brother or her father; the brother, in turn, could play father for his sister and his mother. The sister does this, but the brother tends not to, and may encounter some disapproval over his reluctance or tardiness. He is accused of selfishness and indifference. He does not think of others enough. He does whatever he pleases. He lets them help and wait on him. In conclusion, we can say that the younger brother of a sister and the older sister of a brother both remain more interested in contacts with peers of the opposite sex than of the same sex.
Even outside the family the sister tends to wish to direct and care for boys and young men, whereas the brother is likely to entice girls and women to mother and spoil him while he continues to do what he wants without much regard for others. Parents, incidentally, tend to approve of such a course of development, since the brother is the younger and smaller one. Some parents are initially disturbed by the fact that the relationship between their children is the converse of roles assumed in conven-. However, eventually they become used to the idea. Their response depends on their own experiences with siblings see chapter 8.
At worst, the children's identification with their parents will be hampered, in comparison to other two-child family configurations. The parents' relationship with each other does not become the model for the relationship between their children. The two pairs regard each other with some surprise, but they do not substitute for each other.
If, however, the parents themselves can accept the reversal of authority that they observe between their children, possibly because they themselves have this kind of relationship with each other, then all those options for identification and interaction between parents and children are open that prevail in the relationship described above between an older brother and his younger sister. Two sisters are in yet another different situation. The older sister of a sister has also been around for an average of three years before the younger sister is bom.
She has an advantage of height, strength, and intelligence over the little one that diminishes only in the course of years. Like other oldest siblings, however, she must cope with the shock of having a competitor for her parents' time and attention.
THE CUMEX FILES
Depending on the age difference between her and her sister, she may feel cheated of her parents' affection and loving care when the difference is one or two years , shaken in her control over her parents and in her "negotiating position" when the difference is two or three years , or she may feel her relationship to her father threatened by yet another rival for his.
She notices long before her little sister does that the three of them, mother, sister and herself, will have to share the father's affection and attention. The larger the age gap is between the two sisters, the more conscious will the older girl be of her experiences of conflict with her younger sister and with her parents; at the same time, it is that much easier for her to accept and handle these conflicts. Sooner or later she learns to overcome her jealousy and to assume responsibility for her little sister.
She has to play a parental role for her, mostly that of the mother. She may also become an idol for her little sister in the process, may order her around, and the little one will have to obey. This is how the parents want it. Since the older sister also identifies with the father, she is likely to treat her little sister a bit harshly at times.
The older sister deals with her younger sister the way she has observed her father deal with her mother or with herself. She notices with astonishment, envy, and sorrow that her father is milder and more tolerant in his contacts with her little sister than he is with her mother or with herself. She suspects him of favoritism: she believes he loves the little sister more dearly than her mother or herself, The younger sister of a sister grows up in an atmosphere of greater freedom than did the older sister, but she is also dependent upon her.
At first she accepts the authority of her big sister; she wants to emulate her; she has no qualms about being helped by her. As time goes on, however, she tries to assert herself, to do things as well or even better than she sees her sister do them, and to oppose her sister. The younger sister of a sister learns how to resist and to oppose others, but she remains largely dependent upon their suggestions and ideas. Her own plans are made in response to plans of her sister and other members of the family.
Often she has to know what her big sister wants before she can tell what she wants herself. The younger sister is more likely than the older one to become the parents' darling, particularly her father's. The older sister is ex-. The parents remain more tolerant vis-a-vis the younger one even after she has grown up. They do not insist as adamantly on obedience to them and to their example as they do with their older daughter. They seem to have an unconscious feeling that the younger one is permitted to do what she likes; thus, they may even encourage their younger daughter to become impulsive, ambitious, and obstinate.
One can say, in summary, that both sisters learn about the relationship between man and woman only indirectly, that is, only by observing their parents. Both sisters are better prepared for contacts with peers of the same sex than with those of the opposite sex. Having been her father's favorite, however, the younger sister has a certain advantage in her dealings with boys and men. On the other hand, her ambition and competitiveness may undo her advantage.
She seems to want too much. She wants too many boys to like her, and at the same time she cannot resist competing with them. The oldest brother of two or three sisters develops similar social preferences as does the older brother of just one sister. The same is true for the youngest brother of several sisters. In both instances, though, the brother's position may be considered more pronounced than in a two-child family. He becomes more "precious" to the family because he is the only boy, while there are several girls.
Both the oldest brother of several sisters and the youngest brother of several sisters obviously learn from several siblings what role they are to take. They come to know more facets of the relationship between girls and boys. They may even learn how to play one. This generally makes the characteristics of tiheir sibling positions clearer than those of a brother of but one sister, yet they are similar.
The oldest brother of several brothers and the youngest brother of several brothers may also vary in their relationships to their siblings. The oldest brother is the oldest for all of them. Each brother has to establish some relationship with him. Each of them had for a time been the youngest, and for each of them he was and is the biggest among the brothers.
Generally, his bigness becomes more impressive for a younger brother, the later his entry into the sibling configuration occurs. Similarly, the youngest brother is the youngest for all of them, although the oldest brother usually gets used to his existence more easily than, say, the second youngest. Here, too, we may expect that the oldest brother of several brothers is more distinct in his characteristics than the oldest brother of a family with Just two boys.
Similarly, the youngest brother of brothers will often appear to be more typical than the youngest brother of fust one older brother. The same holds true for girls. The oldest sister of several brothers is usually more caring, more responsible and ready for leadership vis-a-vis men than is the oldest sister of but one brother. The youngest sister of several brothers often shows a greater need for dependence, but also seems to be more feminine and spoiled than the younger sister of only one brother. The oldest sister of several sisters is more strongly identified with her parents or with her father and makes an even more domineering appearance than does the older sister of fust one sister.
The youngest sister of several sisters tends to be even more ambitious, more in need of guidance and more ready to take opposition than is the younger sister of one sister. Both the oldest and the youngest sister of several sisters are better used to dealing with persons of the same sex and less accustomed to contacts with males than are the older or the younger sister of just one sister. In all these cases subgroups may form among the siblings. In a configuration of four children, for example, the oldest child may. The other two siblings may form a secondary group, A youngest sibling may lean heavily on one of his older siblings and ignore the others.
AH this depends on aspects that will be discussed in a later section of this chapter. One aspect, however, must be taken up at once. He or she recognizes that his part as the youngest is over, even if he does try to hold on to it for a while longer. This is no longer much of a problem for the older siblings. The more siblings they see arrive, the less they suffer from the arrival of each new one. It seems obvious that a child can accept his second youngest or third-youngest sibling more easily than the sibling immediately succeeding him.
This is true at least if all successive siblings are of the same sex as the next youngest. In their affinities and affections among each other, siblings are sometimes inclined to skip the closest in age among the younger ones. Among five siblings, for example, the first and the third may form one subgroup, the second and the fifth another, and the fourth child may remain an isolated or merely tolerated hanger-on of one of the subgroups.
If there are more than two children in the family, the sibling configuration must be made up of one or more of these eight basic types. A given person in a sibling. Let us call them multiple sibling positions. We may expect that the sibling relationships described for me eight basic types of sibling positions will combine in some fashion in multiple sibling positions. A person holding such a multiple position may show characteristics and preferences of social behavior that correspond to two or more of the basic types of sibling relationships.
Multiple distal sibling positions are the multiple positions held by the oldest or by the youngest siblings. Within the family situation, the oldest brother of both brothers and sisters can obviously learn how to play the senior, how to lead and to assume responsibility for boys as well as for girls. The youngest brother of brothers and sisters gets used to being carefree and unconcerned vis-a-vis peers of both sexes. The oldest sister of brothers and sisters can act motherly, responsibly, and as a leader with both boys and girls alike, and the youngest sister of brothers and sisters will be not only submissive and dependent, but also ambitious and opposing toward peers of both sexes.
Multiple nondistal or middle sibling positions comprising two types of sibling relationships include the middle brother of brothers, the middle brother of an older brother and a younger sister, the middle brother of an older sister and a younger brother, and the middle brother of two sisters. I am sure the reader can visualize for himself what combinations of characteristics and behavior preferences can be expected with each of the middle positions listed.
The same would hold for a middle sister, who may have sisters only, older brothers and younger sisters, older sisters and younger brothers, or brothers only. Middle sibling positions comprising three types of relationships are all those just mentioned, with the addition of one of the two missing types of siblings. For example, a middle brother of older and younger brothers may also have older sisters, or a middle sister. The more pronounced roles, such as those of the oldest girl, the oldest boy, the youngest girl, or tite youngest boy, have been taken by other siblings.
This becomes most apparent with a person who has older and younger brothers as well as older and younger sisters. He is absolutely in the middle. He is prepared for all types of relationships; for those with older and with younger peers, male and female alike. It can be expected that he will not feel unhappy with any type of relationship he may enter later in his life, but he will not be exuberantly happy either. In any single given relationship to another person he might be missing all those respective relationships that remain unrealized.
A middle brother of older and younger brothers as well as sisters who befriends an older sister of brothers for example, may miss being able to behave and respond the way he did to his younger sisters, and he may also miss the company of boys and men. These middle siblings may feel overlooked or excluded even while they are still in the family. They think they notice that they matter the least among their siblings. Hence they may long to leave the family earlier in life than their siblings would.
They may move out, move far away, or opt for a professional career quite different from that of the rest of the family. Families with many children naturally have more middle siblings than do families with fewer children. In this case it is important to note their position relative to the rest of the siblings. A person may have not only an older brother and an older sister, but also three younger brothers and four younger sisters.
By definition he holds a middle sibling position, but he is near the upper end in the age sequence of his siblings. We can assume that he, more than. On the other hand, the third or fourth youngest, who are also middle siblings by definition, but who are surrounded by a larger number of older than of younger siblings, may sooner learn to behave like younger siblings.
In large sibling configurations, therefore, middle siblings may differ from other middle siblings. They may either be older middle siblings or younger middle siblings. In urban Central Europe, the average family has two or three children; the average family in the U. In larger families, that is, those with five and more children, the number of middle siblings necessarily increases.
With three children, there is one middle sibling, with four children there are two, with n children, there are n-2 middle siblings. The probability of multiple distal sibling positions increases at the same time. The oldest child of four siblings may have four brothers, three brothers and a sister, two brothers and two sisters, one brother and three sisters, or four sisters. There are a total of 24 different possibilities of arranging four children each of whom may be either a boy or a girl. Apart from sibling groups of four boys or of four girls, there are 14 other configurations containing both sexes.
In contrast, if an oldest child has only two siblings,tihesemay be two brothers, a brother and a sister, a sister and a brother, or two sisters. Two of these four sets contain siblings. If each sibling can develop a relationship to every other sibling in his configuration, there is still only one relationship between two siblings.
There are three relationships between three siblings, six between four, ten between five, or, generally speaking, J possible relationships between siblings. Among four siblings, say two brothers and two sisters, the oldest brother has a relationship to his younger brother and to each of his two sisters, the younger brother to his older brother and also to each of his sisters, and so on.
Thus there are twelve relationships but since each of these relationships comes up twice, the number must be divided in half. One may gather from this how much more complicated and variegated family life would have to be in families with many children as compared to those with few. Moreover, every child also develops a relationship to his father and his mother, and all of these relationships may differ from one another. It has been pointed out that families with many children have more middle siblings and those children, especially those absolutely in the middle, are in danger of being ignored and isolated.
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Their position seems to be too ambiguous. They represent something different for each type of sibling they have. The siblings with the more prominent positions seem to feel that the middle siblings are there for all of them and therefore actually for none of them. This need not always be so. Rather larger sibling configurations tend to split into subgroups. Six siblings may form two groups of three children each. The fourth oldest could thus become a kind of oldest sibling himself: the oldest of the little ones. This type of splitting into subgroups depends among other things upon the age difference between siblings.
The larger the age difference is between two successive adjacent siblings in comparison with the age differences between the other siblings, the more likely will it effect a split in the sibling configuration, a separation. If the age difference between the first three of six siblings were two years respectively, and if the fourth child were five years younger than the third, with the fifth and sixth again each two years younger than the next oldest, then the first three siblings would probably form one subgroup and the next three another.
There may be other reasons for subdivision in larger sibling configurations, such as physical characteristics, intelligence, vitality, looks, and likenesses with other family members. These characteristics are generally independent of the characteristics of sibling positions. This point will be taken up later page Parents, too, may effect subdivisions.
What is DAZN?
Their own preferences of social behavior may result in different amounts of time, attention, and favors that they give to different children. Parents may get along better with some of their children than with others. They may be able to identify easily with some, and poorly with others. If, however, the child happens to be unconsciously preferred by one or both parents, he or she may also have greater authority over the siblings, may attract some and ignore others.
The ways in which parents may exert influences upon their children will be dealt with separately in chapter 8. From what we have said so far it might seem as if smaller or larger configurations of children simply existed and exercised their effects or were themselves being affected in a relatively constant manner. This may be so, once the parents have decided to have no more children. Until then, however, or, in other words, while the configuration of children is still changing, the parents determine what will happen not only by interacting with their children, but also by deciding to have another child either now or at a later date.
The fact that the sex of the already existing children plays a role in the parents' decision to have more children has been clearly demonstrated in the actual birth sequences. In a sample of family constellations taken in Niirnberg and Zurich see also chapter 10 , all those families whose child configurations started with a boy were singled out, as were all those fami-. We then tested how many more children these families had. Those parents whose oldest child was a boy had an average of 1. Next, we singled out those families whose configurations of children started with two boys or with two girls in succession.
Two boys in succession were followed by an average of 1. Finally we singled out those families who had three boys initially and those who first had three girls. Three boys were followed by an average of 1. Sibling configurations starting with boys clearly tended to be larger than those beginning with girls.
Whether this means that parents whose first children are girls tend to stop having children sooner than other parents because they want a son but do not believe they will have one, or whether parents whose first children are boys continue to have more children because they also want a daughter is still not known. It could also be that more "vital" parents, i. Oldest siblings have been single children for a while but were dethroned when their first sibling arrived.
The only child, however, retains his privileged position. His main contacts are his parents. They devote more time, more attention, more affection to him than parents do to a given child in a larger sibling configuration, even if these latter parents spend a larger total of time, attention, and affection on their children. An individual child has to share all that with others and thus gets less for himself.
In his family, the only child is not or is only indirectly prepared for contacts with peers. He learns how a man and a woman relate to each other by observing his parents, but he has little opportunity to practice it with other children. Nursery school and kindergarten usually give him his first opportunity.
It is here that only children experience the shock for the first time that they are not the only ones vying for the adults' the teachers' attention. However, they are only exposed to this disturbing situation for a few hours a day and not even every day of the week. At home they command their parents' entire attention. Children with siblings, on the other hand, have had their shock right in the family and can accept the presence of other children, even of many other children such as in kindergarten or in school, more easily than only children can.
Of course, single children too can get accustomed to a new social environment, but they do so by establishing relatively stronger contacts with the teacher than with other children. Only children frequently know better than other children how to handle adults, or how to involve them for their own purposes.
Thus they often impress other children as being do-gooders, egotists, or the favorites of the adults. More than other children of their age, only children look and act like little adults themselves. This is not only because they have usually spent more time with their parents man children who have siblings, but also because they can learn how to behave toward a parent as the other parent would and not as another child does. There are no other children to identify with. An only child behaves toward his father the way his mother does, and vice versa.
He can also make his parents help and protect him and do things for him more readily than other children can make their parents. Only children are the focus of their parents' attention anyway. They don't have to share their parents with other children. Cousins and other children may come to their house, to be sure, but they don't stay for long, and the only child clearly recognizes that he does not have to compete with these other children for his parents' favor.
Outside the family, only children often continue to get special. As at home, they want to be in the limelight under the guidance and protection of older people or people in positions of authority. They strive to find recognition for what they want or do not want to do.
They can attract "followers" and take on leadership roles for their peers to the degree to which they identify with adults, with authority figures, or with subject matters. Bven then, they unconsciously value the understanding of their superiors more than that of those in their charge. An only child may differ from another only child. This depends, among other things, upon the sibling position of his same-sex parent If the father of a male only child is an oldest brother of brothers, through identification with his father the son may assume features, attitudes, and preferences of an oldest brother of brothers.
If the mother of a female only child is the youngest sister of brothers, the daughter will become a mixture of an only child and a youngest sister of brothers. She may be less egotistical and moody than other female single children. If the same-sex parent of an only child was an only child himself, then the child tends to show the characteristics and social behavior of an only child to a marked degree. There may be not only medical and economic, but also psychological reasons behind the parents' choice to have but one child.
Conflicts among the parents, losses suffered by one or both of them in their early lives, or other traumatic conditions seem to discourage parents from having more children. In these cases one might view the family with an only child as a mild form of a disturbed family. On the average, we can say that only children have been more poorly prepared for contacts with peers than children with any other sibling position; they prefer contacts with older persons or people in high positions, or with peers who are willing to play the role of father or mother for them, TWINS About 1 percent of all children bom are twins.
In other words, they are rare. Triplets, quadruplets, or quintuplets are even rarer. Animals, however, frequently have twins, quintuplets, or even litters of ten or twelve. Very few animals bear one young at a time. But even if they do, the second-born does not become a sibling of the first-born the way it happens in a human family. We will come back to this subject in chapter 5 p.
As a rule, twins live with each other from birth on. They have experiences that are different from those of other siblings. Siblings with an age difference can avoid each other to some extent. Depending on the size of that age difference, the older of two siblings is more-or-less established when the younger one is born. The younger one diverts a lot of his parents' attention to himself, but mere are areas, such as the general use of the house or the apartment, where the younger one cannot interfere at first. He sleeps more and at different times than the oldest sibling and the parents, he is fed at different times, he cannot yet run around the house, etc.
At dinner, on walks, on the playground, on the way to and from kindergarten or school the younger one is usually not present. This is different with twins. They are always a twosome. They are born practically at the same time, even if the family tends to "force" one of them to be the older and the other the younger one. Two ordinary siblings are also a twosome, but the older one has had several years of experience as a single child.
He knows what he has lost and what he dislikes about his sibling. He can wish him or her "to get lost," since he has known a time when he was "lost," that is, nonexistent. In contrast, the youngest sibling has considerable difficulties imagining life without his older sibling. He may get an inkling of it through identifying with his older sibling, by vicarious action or imitation.
In that case, he may even adopt the ways in which the older sibling tries to solve his conflicts with him. Twins cannot do that. Developmentally they are on the same level. Neither has the advantage of greater physical or mental power, or experience. They can learn little from each other in their dealings with their physical and social environment that they would not learn all by themselves.
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What they can do, however, is to resist control by others, and even to manipulate others themselves. Other children have to do it alone. We have already indicated that the environment tries to handle twins as if they were ordinary siblings. The family appoints one of the twins to be the older and the other to be the younger sibling, even if they are identical twins. In cases of nonidentical twins, the age difference of perhaps half an hour or likenesses with certain family members, differences in physical height, intelligence, or vitality may play a part.
If the twins are a boy and a girl which means that they are definitely nonidentical twins , the authority-preferences of the parents tend to determine what age ranks the twins will be given. If the father was the oldest and the mother the youngest among their siblings, they are likely to make the boy the senior and the girl the junior sibling even if their actual birth order was the reverse. In such a way twins who have no other siblings may assume characteristics of the basic types of sibling positions.
Yet more frequently they meet the world as a pair, especially if they are identical twins. They have always been a pair, and they find it hard to imagine life without the other. Therefore they take longer than other siblings to separate in their youth or adulthood. More than do others, they seek out siblings or even twins for friends as well as for lovers and spouses. Twins may have other siblings.
In that case, both of them take on the characteristics of the social behavior that a single person would in their sibling position. When the twins are, say, the oldest boys and have two younger sisters and a younger brother, they learn to take the roles of oldest brothers of brothers and of sisters. When the twins are girls and have come after an oldest sister, both of them are likely to assume the features of younger sisters of sisters. What has been said of twins applies for triplets and quadruplets as well.
Their relationships to each other, however, are more complex and variegated. They also remain more detached from other siblings, if they have any, than do twins. They mean more work for the parents, to be sure. They really do take their parents away from. The other siblings notice this and try to put up a common front against the triplets or quadruplets. Triplets and quadruplets are so rare that it is difficult to recognize and confirm common trends. The rare event mobilizes agencies, the mass media, and donors with or without ulterior motives, all of whom may bring about a drastic change in the life of the family concerned.
Therefore we will say no more about triplets, quadruplets, or quintuplets. In their relationship with each other, twins should be viewed as siblings. One should try to determine by observation and inquiry which one plays the part of the senior, of the sibling in charge, and which one plays the part of the junior, of the impulsive and dependent one. Beyond that one also has to find out the position the twins might have among their other siblings.
Both twins are likely to adopt the social behavior and interaction preferences that correspond to their overall sibling position. The conflicts arising between successive siblings vary according to the age difference between them. When the youngest sibling is born only one or two years after the oldest, the latter sees his sibling as a rival for the care, attention, and affection of his parents as well as for their free gifts and favors, even for food.
When the difference in age is three or four years, the older of two siblings feels threatened in his power and control over his parents. Greed for food and the need for affection and help are less important now. The older sibling is irked by the fact that the parents set up tasks for him or her , but not for the younger one. He must offer. The older sibling recognizes, however, that he can also get returns from his parents, among other things, for helping and protecting the younger sibling.
If two siblings are four or five years apart, the older one has usually learned to respond sex-specifically to his parents and to other people by the time the younger one arrives. An atmosphere of competition and power continues to prevail in dealings with persons of the same sex, albeit in a more civilized form than before, but there is now more of an atmosphere of tenderness, courtship, or waiting for such attention in contacts with persons of the opposite sex, A boy or a man should treat a girl or a woman nicely, A girl should appear pretty and gentle and may pass out favors or withhold them as she pleases.
A boy may not. Men and women seem to come in pairs. Father and mother are also such a pair. The child himself might form such a pair with one of his parents, even better with another child, say, his sibling. This is how children of four and five begin to see things. If this is really the case, it seems possible that the older sibling may recognize the sex of his younger sibling in its consequences right from his birth, and not merely a few years later, as do siblings with smaller age differences. The family situation can improve or worsen depending on the sex of the second-born.
The child's family changes to either one with three persons of one sex and one person of the other whose attention and affection will be sought even more vehemently, or to a family of two persons of one sex and two persons of the other sex. The latter case may smooth things out. If the age difference between successive siblings is six or more years, the two tend to become something less than fullfledged siblings for each other. The older one is hardly affected by the younger child. He or she has started to go to kindergarten or school and has already set up his domain or territory at home.
Not only can he do without his parents for the time he spends in classes; even at home he has no insatiable need for parental attention. It takes perhaps another two years before the younger sibling can seriously get. At that time, though, the older child is engaged in activities and concerned about "property" and possessions of a kind that do not automatically attract the younger sibling's spontaneous interest and wants. At any rate, siblings who are six or more years apart tend to become quasi-only children, unless one or both of them happen to be surrounded by other siblings that are closer in age.
If three children, each of whom is two years apart from his nearest sibling, were to get another sibling who, for example, was eight years younger man the youngest of them, this child would become a quasi-only child. It is unlikely that the other three will be influenced in their sibling position as much by the newcomer as they were by each other.
If a boy has turned ten years old before getting two sisters in quick succession, he is likely to be a quasi only child, even though also bearing some features of an oldest brother of sisters. Generally speaking, small age distances tend to bind siblings more strongly to each other. This is true even when they cannot resolve some of their conflicts with each other and suffer from them, perhaps unconsciously.
The larger the age distance is, the less the siblings will affect each other, but they will usually be that much more aware of, and articulate about, their conflicts. These conflicts are resolvable, as a rule. The fact that such siblings express their conflicts may make it seem as if they were more severe than those between siblings of smaller age differences.
This impression is often wrong. The actual and effective conflicts between siblings of smaller age differences are usually deeper and harder to reconcile. An older sibling tends to determine the character of his sibling relationship to a greater extent than does a younger sibling. The younger one creates a new situation and a considerable problem for the older sibling by his mere arrival, but the older sibling decides more or less in unison with his parents how to interpret the new family situation and how to continue shaping it.
The greater the number of older siblings the newborn encounters, the less can he or she do himself in terms of interpreting and shaping the family situation. The older siblings rearrange their relationships with each. A newborn is ignorant at first of all these "negotiations" and usually has no other choice but to accept the role imposed upon Mm, at least for the time being. If the newcomer is the only one of his sex, though, or if, because of looks, special talents, or an exceptionally happy disposition, he or she has become particularly dear to me parents, he or she may exert a greater influence than usual over his older siblings and take a more active role in shaping their family life.
Of course even then it takes the parents' support to become all that influential. Small age differences result in stronger ties among siblings than large age differences both in large sibling configurations and in smaller ones. This implies that immediate siblings, that is, those adjacent in age, are likely to influence each otiher more strongly than nonadfacent siblings, that is, those who are farther apart from each other in their sibling configuration.
This is true even when a sibling seems to skip the next oldest or the next youngest in his affection and turns to the second-next oldest or second-next youngest instead. This skipping may happen for good psychological reasons, but the nonspontaneous or reactive character of such a sibling preference often does not escape a careful observer's notice. If three brothers have a sister and still another brother, the shock of the arrival of another sibling could be particularly severe for the third-oldest, because everybody else in the family will be delighted about the birtih of a girl For the two older brothers this is not the first experience of a shock over a newcomer; they can probably handle it with greater ease titan the third-oldest and respond positively to their little sister.
The third-oldest, because of his mixed feelings, may have had no chance to hit it off with her. In contrast, he may have much less of a problem with the fifth child, the youngest brother. He has fewer reservations about him, can turn to him with more composure and, as a consequence, the two may form a stronger attachment to each other than to the rest of their siblings. We may suspect, though, that the third-oldest brother and perhaps.
Their own attachment to each other may appear second-rate compared to theirs. The third brother would rather be attached to his next oldest brother, if that brother had not turned away from him, and to his younger sister, if his older brothers had not snatched her for themselves. The influence in a sibling configuration of nonadjacent siblings upon one another will be smaller the greater the number of siblings positioned between them in age.
It will also be smaller, however, the greater the age difference is between two siblings regardless of how many siblings are between them, if any. The influence of such a distant sibling may be enhanced under two conditions. He can take the father's or the mother's place for the other child. This may be because one parent has been lost or because there are so many children in the family that the oldest may be fifteen or twenty years older than the youngest.
Or a sibling may take the position of a child vis-a-vis another sibling. These two conditions are not necessarily mutual. The fact that small age distances among siblings result in stronger ties than large age distances also implies that, of the two siblings adjacent to a person, the sibling closer in age is likely to be more influential. A middle sister with a brother two years older and another brother six years younger than herself will become more of a youngest sister of brothers than of an older sister of brothers see also p.
Age differences between children and parents and between the parents themselves are also important. On the average, the oldest child is about 28 or 29 years younger than his father and 25 or 26 years younger than his mother. The youngest child is an average of seven years younger than the oldest. If there are more than three children, these age distances from the parents and from other siblings tend to be smaller see chapter 1. If parents are considerably older than this, if there is an age gap of say 40 years and 37 years respectively between them and their.
These parents are inclined to be either stricter and more authoritarian than parents of average ages in relation to their children's ages, or too over-protective and permissive. Often such parents have only one child. They may be more like grandparents to their child than ordinary parents would. If parents are considerably younger than the average, perhaps 20 and 17 or 20 and 18 years old when their first child is born, they are frequently reluctant to assume their parental roles.
Often they let things take their course. They may not concern themselves much with their children but leave them to the care of someone else. Under fortunate circumstances this someone may be their own parents. Even if these very young parents do keep their children themselves, they tend to become big brothers and sisters rather than parents for them.
The grandparents of the children, or other people who are taking care of them, tend to become their psychological parents. Grandparents, however, are often less consistent in their dealings with their grandchildren than are the parents. They either spoil them or they are more indifferent and less available to them. In some instances they may literally want their grandchildren to leave them alone. One of the characteristics of the family backgrounds of young delinquents and criminals as compared to that of the average youth turned out to be the relatively old age and the relatively young age of their parents.
The average age difference between the parents is about three years. In the large majority of cases the husband is older than the wife. If the age difference between spouses is 10 or 15 years, the older spouse usually the husband takes a parental rather than a partner's role toward the younger spouse, at least in certain areas and aspects of their family life. The husband behaves somewhat like a father toward his wife. She becomes both his wife and his child, and. If such a marriage succeeds, the wife has usually had psychological reasons for looking for a father rather than a peer in marriage.
She may have lost her own father early in life, or she may have lost her mother and had to take her place in the family. If the wife is considerably older than the husband, her part in their relationship tends to be that of a mother rather than of a partner or peer, and the husband is likely to want just that He may have reasons deriving from his own family constellation, and so might she. The children in such a family recognize sooner or later who the head of the family is and to whom they had better turn: to mother.
Their father is more of a companion who might get their mother to help them, but who is often not too helpful by himself. F amily constellations change during the course of time. The family members grow older.
PISA at DIPF — en
In an objective sense, this occurs uniformly: everyone ages by the same number of years. Subjectively, however, the rates of growing older vary for different family members. In two years a child 4 years of age grows older by 50 per cent of his original age, a child of 8 years by 25 per cent, a young adult of 20 years by 10 percent.
In other words, young family members change faster in the course of time than do older family members, particularly parents. Even the influences that a newborn member of the family may exert on the relationships between the other family members are likely to be greatest in the beginning and tend to dwindle as he grows into the family. The "establishment" of individuals with much slower subjective growth rates and a much longer span of their relationships to each other than to the newcomer tends to prevail.
Changes within family constellations during the course of time are basically similar for different families, live addition of a new family member through birth or the fact that the family has reached its final configuration affects alt families in comparable ways. There are, however, special cases of changes in the family that require attention. Families may not only increase their membership by begetting and bearing still another child. They may also take in a foster-child or adopt a child.
Moreover, parents may separate and marry others, single persons as well as individuals who had been married before. Thus the children may not only get a new parent, but also new siblings who could be either half-brothers and halfsisters or step-brothers and step-sisters.
Finally, family members may leave for periods of time or for good, either because of long travels or business relocations, or because of legal separation, divorce, or death. These changes will be dealt with in the next section. The parent may die or separate himself from the family for good either by divorce or without legal formalities, or he may have been missing since birth.
In 8 out of 10 instances the person lost is the father, in 2 out of 10 cases it is the mother. Siblings may also be lost through death or separation. Loss of a sibling during a person's childhood or youth occurs in 10 percent of the families with children. Regardless of whether such losses of family members occur through death, or chronic illness and hospitalizetion, separation, or abandonment of a family member, they represent significant changes in a person's family constellation.
They affect the life experiences of all members of the family, not so much by the occurrence of the event of loss itself as by the lost person's permanent absence. Psychologists are inclined to argue that nothing can be said. This is only partly true. For example, one can maintain without questioning anyone that life will go on for aE members of the family without the person who has been lost.
There can be no more direct interactions with the lost person. No further immediate experiences with the lost person are possible, although during the course of mourning the lost person may be talked about a lot and facets and aspects of that person may be discussed that were unknown to some members of the family.
Here, DIPF contributes its competence and experience in managing international large-scale assessments. The ZIB benefits from the innovative work carried out by DIPF in the areas of competence assessment and technology-based test procedures. Simply put, the PISA studies consist of two parts. Achievement tests assessing the performance of year- old students in certain subjects are run across different countries.
Also, questionnaires are administered to students, school principals, teachers and parents, capturing important contextual factors in education and depicting learning conditions from an internationally comparative perspective. Since PISA , DIPF has shared responsibility for these questionnaires, which are highly relevant for the explanation of differences between participating countries.
Together with the assessment of the achievement tests, the questionnaires deliver important information regarding the further development of school and instructional quality. The term large-scale assessment refers to achievement tests that are applied in usually international, school performance studies — they play a crucial role in the German education system.
Related Alkoholismus und die Auswirkungen auf die Familie (German Edition)
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