How close are you to your siblings?


Another thread peaked my curiosity on this topic.:slight_smile:

Are you close to your siblings? For those of you who are really close to your siblings - what special things did your parents teach you for you to be so close to your siblings?

As a mother of 3 children, I want my children to love and respect each other ALWAYS. I often wonder and worry about how I am doing as a parent in teaching them these values.

My husband’s family is TOTALLY dysfunctional, and I don’t want my children growing up thinking that the way his parents and brother act is an acceptable way of how family is supposed to treat each other. :tsktsk:


I am 1 of 7 children and we are not close at all. I long to be closer to them but its as if we just push eachother away. I assume that falls into the dysfunctional category. Everytime I try to take down my wall and talk to them, I remember exactly why I have my wall up in the first place - it can be painful.

I think kids learn what they see. When I grew up my home must have been a real mess - no honest communication, belitting eachother, etc… Whats funny is how my brother is 45 years old has a succesfull career but he still reverts back to his 12 year old attitudes around brothers and sisters…if I can see that I don’t know why he doesn’t.

Just talk to your kids, love them, treat them how you want them to treat eachother


My brother and I had a tumultuous childhood by good, solid Catholic standards. In other words, our parents didn’t do the family thing ‘right’. My mother raised her children alone because she had to and she worked full time from the time my brother was 2 weeks old.
There are times when I do not want to be around him because he can be such a dummy…however, I have been taught that loving someone is a decision I make and I must have made that decision about him a long time ago…no matter how much of a big dummy he is I still love him and we are close.

It probably helps that he thinks I am a big dummy too and loves me anyway.


I’m not very close to my sibs. But, my husband’s family is very close–though less so as the years go by and everyone is so busy.

I’ve thought a lot about this. I think the difference between our upbringing is:

that his family had dinner together every night. Ours would do a serve yourself and sit in front of the tv. They also took family vacations together.

We never did.

They celebrated birthdays in a big way. We never made a big deal out of birthdays.

I think these family traditions go a long way towards bonding.

Also, my MIL always had a part time job, but never a full time job, so I think she had more energy to put into family activities. My mom worked fulltime–night shift, too.

I’m trying to do meals together, family vacations, and birthday parties for my family, but in a way I think it is harder for me since I don’t have these “habits” engrained in me.


I have two sisters, and we are pretty close. I do not necessarily tell them everything, but we can confide in each other when we need to.

We were not always this way… in fact we were constantly bickering and arguing and we could never agree. I think now we have become so close because we have spent so much time together… we are all homeschooled (I am a senior, my sisters are younger) and have been for six years now. We’ve been through a lot together. It was hard at first, spending so much time with JUST my sisters all day, as oppossed to several hundred kids in school, but I think it really strengthened our relationships toward each other. We really got to know each other better.


Well, my family is still mostly living at home (with the exception of one sister and myself), but I’d say we are definitely a lot closer than we were. We’re still not as close as I hope to be, but with one sister with mental illness who really split the family apart in a lot of ways, we’ve come a long way. She’s out on her own now, so life is much more peaceful and she is doing much better on her own. We now have family gatherings more often and as we get older, we accept all our differences, and try to grow closer. We never were close with our extended family, so this is new for us.

DH on the other hand comes from a VERY close family - they all live within 30 minutes of eachother on one side, and 2 hrs on the other. He and his brother and sister are very close and I think always will be. I love his family as much as I love mine. And I love the fact that they are so close :).


I am close with my sister but my daughter’s are not that close (they are 6 years apart - God’s choice, not mine (-:).

Part of why my sister and I are close is probably because we are military brats and we were the only friends we had with each other that were constant (we are also only 18 months apart).

I will say though that what my daughter’s like is having dinner together, even now that they are adults, they like to have dinner with their dad and me. It was not easy to keep this up even though I grew up that way too. Todays schedules often don’t allow for it and my husband often works late so he ends up eating way after I do.

Brenda V.


My sisters and I are very close. I think what helped was that my mom would never tolerate us treating each other in a disrespectful manner. She would also never set us up in competition with each other, or vent her frustrations with one of us to another.

Sure, my closest sister, who is three years younger than me, used to always annoy me growing up because she was so different than me in so many ways that seemed important then but don’t seem important now. My youngest sister is 15 years younger than me, so we have never been in “competition”. Plus, of my two sisters, she is the one that is most like me personality and tastes-wise. So, that takes care of the age difference.

My mom did always tell me whenever I would complain about my sister that when we grew up we would be good friends, that the friends I have now would come and go but that my sister would be my friend forever. That is totally what happened once I moved out of the house, suddenly we were very close. As adults we have ALWAYS been there for eachother, and I am so grateful for both of my sisters.


Very close with my siblings… (especially my sisters… we talk several times a week… just “girl talk”. they’re 5 and 9 years younger than I am)

My brother’s fairly busy with a tough job and family, so we don’t get to chat as often as we used to… but we’re still really close!



For those of you in close families, what sort of things did you do together as a family:

holiday celebrations
birthday celebrations
family business/ministry
family rosary/prayer time

just curious.


all of the above. or, at least we made a very consious effort to attend everything together as a family.


We always did family meals as often as possible. DH and I go over on Sundays many times b/c that is the “official family meal” of the week.

Holidays are always together with the exception of New Year’s. We were always allowed to go over to friends’ houses once we were teens.

Birthdays are always celebrated as a family - we make a cake and sing happy birthday and the birthday person gets the “special” plate (which I was given one for my own family when DH and I got married) and presents from the family. Any parties, dates, etc. are done on days close to the birthday generally.

My family now does this thing called “family formation” night once a month - learn about the faith as a family - organized by a local parish. They also do catechism classes once a week at another parish as a family. Family rosary is what brought our family closer, I believe. We began probably about 7 yrs ago and we say it as often as we can with whoever is present.


Oldest of 4 here, we did all of the above except the Rosary (we were Protestants :)).

I and the youngest are very close, we live far away but talk very often, she and I would have picked each other as friends were we NOT sisters.

My sister just younger than me - 18 months younger - and I are not very close. We don’t have any problems with the other, we just are not that close :rolleyes: . Same with my brother and I - we are not best friends buddy buddy, but, that is also his personality.


-We always ate meals at the table.
-We always had a lot of care and effort put into holiday celebrations which often included extended family.
-We had nice but not elaborate family vacations - a lot of camping and visiting relatives mixed with little trips to Disneyland or to see places of historical importance.
-Birthdays were always celebrated, but not on the elaborate scale that a lot of parents do it these days.

  • No family business, both my dad and my step father were in the Navy.
  • We didn’t really have any sort of family prayer time. Growing up my dad was Baptist, and he and I had many talks together about spirituality and prayers. It was just between the two of us though, not a family thing as my mom was not too religious. My dad died just before I turned twelve and when my mom remarried when I was 13, my stepfather was a Catholic. We went to Mass for a few months and then just stopped going. We really didn’t do anything much religiously or spiritually as a family. My youngest sister (actually half sister) and I have both gone through RCIA, and I think our shared faith is something that keeps us close.


All my siblings are grown… so I’m referring to my grown siblings and my parents…

Meals - OFTEN
holiday celebrations - OFTEN
vacations - sometimes
birthday celebrations - OFTEN
family business/ministry - NOPE
family rosary/prayer time - more private within our individual families… always grace at meals, and attend Mass together.


Well if you asked me 15 years ago my answer would be quite different. My brother and I grew up fighting. It’s was constant battle. My poor parents…boy am I in trouble it I ever have kids…:eek: Now however we get along great. We’re not supper close but we get along fine. We matured to a point where we can compromise on the areas where we are total opposites and consentrate on the areas where we think alike. Now my sister …that’s another story. We get along but we’re so much alike in many things…not necessarily good things. She hasn’t matured enough to learn to compromise yet…she’s 14 years my junior so I tend to want to give advice. Our mother is gone too so that kind of brings out the maternal part of me as well. I’ve learned recently though just to keep my opinions to myself…she wants to go her own way so things are much better. I’m always the one she calls when she’s in a panick though or really upset…:o


Hmm… Difficult to say. Depends on the day, depends on the criteria. It’s hard to generalise. :wink:


Brother #1 (fifteen years older than me)- It’s been about 2.5 years since I spoke to him, 13 years since I have seen him.

Sister (ten years older than me)- I haven’t seen or heard from her in 11 years

Brother #2 (2.5 years younger than me)- I talk to him several times a day (and he lives in Hawaii!).


Do your older sibs talk to one another?


this is an interesting question.

I am the 6th of 8 children and I am very close to two of my sisters, I get along with one brother and tolorate the rest of them. to be fair, the youngest sister is still a teenager, I may like her a lot more when she matures.

My family was pretty disfunctional. We were poor and mom and dad made some bad choices. I’m not really sure why some of us turned out so different and un-get-along-withable (is that a word?) My eldest brother has some sense of entitlement and thinks everyone should respect his authority and listen to all of his advice. He and the other brother I don’t like much seem to have no concious. they steal, lie and cheet quite often. they have both stolen lots from my mom and dad. I have NO clue why they are like that except that my mom is kind of a push over and takes a lot of junk (and shouldn’t). But both of my folks (my dad is dead now) were great Christians and modled that fairly well in their daily lives.

so I guess my advice would be to assert your authority when your children wrong someone or even you. Make sure they understand that there are consiquences for breaking rules. both those of man and those of God. I think that’s probably my brothers’ biggest problem. Mom and dad didn’t lay down the law when they needed to. And their poor behavior is why we do not get along and I think that the lack of consiquences taught them to not respect their family.

One thing I can tell you about us, inspite of our crazyness, I believe that most of us would lay down our lives for eachother if it ever came to that.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit