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(16 Posts)
grannyactivist Fri 18-Jan-13 15:37:05

I'm the third of eight children and have one older sister, one older brother and the others are all younger. I grow closer to my older sister every year - even though she works in America and is otherwise based in Australia. My contacts with my other siblings are quite limited, mostly because geographically and temperamentally we're poles apart, but still I think of us as being quite a close knit family. What are your relationships with your siblings like? Friends, enemies, jealous, indifferent? Do you think your place in the family order has helped to shape your personality?

Sel Fri 18-Jan-13 16:10:14

ga I have lost both my brothers in the past two years which was quite a shock as they weren't old. I now only have an elderly Aunt left who knows my childhood. I was especially close to one brother, we could always have a laugh about the past - it's that shared history thing I suppose. I was the baby of the family. Third of eight? Wow, I would have liked that.

kittylester Fri 18-Jan-13 16:18:33

I'm the eldest and had 3 brothers. Unfortunately, one of my brothers died when he was a baby and I am the only person left who can still remember anything at all about him.

I have posted before about all the trouble Mum caused in the family, deliberately stirring things between my brothers and myself but, since she started to have memory problems 'the boys' and I have become close again and work well as a team - so long as they do what I say. smile I find that I quite like them and their wives and would chose them as friends.

So, although Mum and her problems can present huge difficulties for her and for us, it has been a 'blessing' in terms of reuniting the family. Not that I would wish Alzheimers on anyone or their relatives.

Movedalot Fri 18-Jan-13 16:27:15

I was the 4th of 5 but now there is only my youngest brother left and we don't have much in common. My sister died about 5 years ago of one of those things which mean you gradully deterioriate physically but not mentally. My eldest brother died in a car accident when he was 19 and the other brother in a car accident last year.

Neither DH or I have parents and he is an only child so we are a bit short of rellies. Luckily our 3 children get on very well and are really close.

ninathenana Fri 18-Jan-13 16:34:37

I have a half sister (same mum) and one brother. Half sister was brought up by my maternal grandparents. She has hardly spoken to mum brother and I for about 30yrs.
Brother thought I was a waste of space growing up. As adults we were as polite strangers until mum was diagnosed with dementia. Still not close but we do support each other with her care. And I can now have a laugh and chat with him. Shame it's taken 40+ years.

tanith Fri 18-Jan-13 16:34:42

Five siblings in my family 4 sisters and the youngest a brother, I lost my eldest sister 45yrs ago I suppose as families go we aren't that close in my opinion, as in spending time together although my brother lives in the same road we call in for a catch up now and then but we don't spend time together very often. One sister lives in Wales and I speak to her on the phone monthly and the other lives 15 mins away and I ring her weekly for a catchup but again we don't spend time together other than weddings,anniversaries etc..
We all have different lifestyles and outlooks on life and I find they do annoy me with some of their life choices.. for instance they'll complain about being short of money but buy cars for their children. I suppose we are financially poles apart and what suits one family seems an extravagance to another..

There are 5yr gaps between us all nearly 25yrs between youngest and eldest so we (not sure how Mum and Dad managed that in the 30's/40's) so the eldest girls were left home before my brother and I grew up.. maybe thats why we aren't close... although they might actually disagree with me..

GadaboutGran Fri 18-Jan-13 16:41:05

A colleague of mine who was an expert on Alfred Adler (much neglected in the UK , less so in Ireland, Australia, Israel etc) taught me so much about the importance of birth order, though this is only one factor in the whole family context at the time of birth. It really helped me make sense of my family dynamics & helped many teachers we worked with. In places where families had been traditionally large it was really fascinating. [Google him if interested: he was one of the big three with Freud & Jung but differed in the greater importance he gave to social context such as family & community in addition to indivual personality- he also believed in passing skills on to lay people, hence he empowered rather than took all the glory for himself]

numberplease Fri 18-Jan-13 17:02:38

I was the only product of my parents marriage, as my father was killed 6 months before I was born. My mother remarried when I was 3, a man with a son and daughter already, and they had 4 of their own, so I had a step-brother and step-sister, both a few years older than me, plus a half brother and 3 half sisters.
My step-brother was away a lot, in the navy, so I didn`t see an awful lot of him, then he married and moved away, but I sort of hero worshipped him.He died in his 50s. My step-sister, 8 years older than me, was an absolute b**ch, to me and to my mother, and me and her never got on, hardly saw her again after she got married. She`s still around, somewhere.
The halves, don`t see or hear from my brother, 4 years younger than me, apart from Christmas cards, but he was always OK. The eldest of my 3 sisters, 8 years younger than me, we rarely see, but speak fairly often on the phone, we get on fine, the next one down, 2 years younger than her, lives in Bridlington and havent seen her, or our youngest sister, who was born when I was 16, since our mother`s funeral, over 8 years ago. No animosity, just no contact apart from Christmas cards. They all live in various parts of Yorkshire, whereas we`re in Lincolnshire.

Faye Fri 18-Jan-13 17:06:50

I am a middle child of five children. Even though my mother lost two babies, if they had lived I would still have been a middle child. My brother (only boy) and sister who are nearly four years younger are twins. I googled Alfred Alder I googled Alfred Alder Gadabout, for my family he is about right.

Grannylin Fri 18-Jan-13 17:10:47

I am the eldest and have one brother in Australia and a sister 'up north'.We don't see each other that often but we all love each other very much and have 11 children between us. Mum and Dad got something rightsmile

annodomini Fri 18-Jan-13 18:14:57

Two younger sisters. One is in New Zealand, a divorced retired GP; she comes over occasionally and we go on a trip somewhere in Europe; youngest is in Scotland, still happily married, and we see each other around four times a year and always at New Year. We mean a lot to each other. Between us we have ten grandchildren.

Ariadne Fri 18-Jan-13 18:25:10

I am the only child of an only child (my mother). My father had a brother but my mother didn't care for him! He, my uncle, had no children. So now, as I see my three, and their wonderful partners, and my six GC, I rejoice in the strong relationships they have, and wonder at them. It has been a real learning experience for me, and one for which I am profoundly grateful. I do wish I had had a brother or sister. sad

merlotgran Fri 18-Jan-13 18:29:19

I have two brothers and a step brother (in Australia). Mum had the three of us six years apart so one was nicely settled in school before she had the next one.....Not very maternal, my mum hmm

I'm closer to my younger brother but the older one is OK it's just his wife I can't stand grin

nightowl Fri 18-Jan-13 18:31:27

Me too Ariadne sad. But at least I was fortunate to have parents from large families so while growing up I was part of that bustle. However I think I felt quite alone from an early age and I always had a sense that there was no one who was 'mine'. Like you I have learnt so much from my own children and their families.

grannyactivist Fri 18-Jan-13 18:36:25

I felt very 'comfortable' in my large family and it's no accident that I went on to have five children of my own. My oldest sister always wished she had been an only child and is a parent to an only child. The rest of us have, six children, four children and three children; two of my siblings have two children apiece and the baby of the family, my youngest brother, has none (and no partner since his fiancee left him a dozen years ago).

harrigran Fri 18-Jan-13 19:57:47

I am the middle child, one older sister and one younger. My elder sister has lived abroad for 45 years but my younger one lives in the same town. I was the only one to have children. I am very close to my younger sister because there is a big age gap and she was still a child when I had my babies, like having another DD. My elder sister has interests that are totally different to mine and most of the time we agree to differ.