A popular line from the Bible’s story of Cain and Abel that we could hear even from non-Christians is “am I my brother’s keeper?” It is a sad refrain that some people utter up to this time. Good relationships take time to build, and is founded on mutuality, understanding, trust and perseverance.
A look into the performance of parents in rearing their children can give us a glimpse or an idea how the offsprings are faring in their own lives. It is important that when couples decide to start a family, they must be mentally and emotionally prepared to handle the gigantic job of parenting. It might perhaps be safe to state that even the physical and social aspects should also be considered as the woes of marriage and strains of parenting may also take its toll on the couple’s stamina, endurance, attitude and patience. When husband and wife, for instance, frequently scream at each other in their quarrels, the children become anxious and fear may grip their young hearts. Besides, brothers and sisters may follow the same actuation, shouting at the top of their voices when they fight. While it is an accepted finding in research studies that children differ from each other even as early as infancy, the primary task begins with the parents for them to be aware of child differences and to apply such awareness in the rearing process. As the parents neatly perform their roles, they should grow up too as the children do.
Relationships among siblings in the family may be good or strained. It may be best to mend any strain in a relationship between brothers or sisters before it becomes calloused and stretches towards adulthood. Differences may be caused by simple fights over little things that grow big when unaddressed, envy, pride, feelings of unfairness, failures and frustrations. When little brother fights with big brother, very often it is easily settled when parents immediately come between. However, there are also cases when the quarrels of the bigger sons or daughters are prolonged, and may deteriorate the relationship. Although parents may mediate, there may be instances when pent-up feelings of envy and unfairness for example, drag the negative effect of such quarrels. The home then may seem cold and unpleasant.
Getting along well for a brother with his brother or a sister with her brother requires a thorough understanding of the nature and character of each one. If one is short tempered, the other must be patient, or to least try to stretch it so as not to lose his top lest he joins in and increase tension. It is not easy to tame one’s anger, but it can be learned. Again, parents can do a lot in dissipating the emotion. The more patient brother can also wait till the other has cooled down, and then talk things out little by little. Of course, it may be best if a parent is around to listen, guide and patch up. There are conversation starters that one can make use of in dealing with a difficulty talking with his brother. Senseless pride should be laid away first if only to strike a conversation, and grab the opportunity each time to maintain a conversant state. Gradually, one may be able to extend an invitation to his brother to go out together, perhaps to watch a favorite ball game, or see a movie, to jog together or take some snacks, and many other activities that would help build rapport and rekindle the warmth and fun of brotherhood. However, one should not be too assuming in creating a fertile atmosphere for smooth relations with a brother; he should be cautious of the other’s moods so that he can adjust his actions. While this approach may be taken as a sacrifice of the patient brother, an improved relationship with the other is an accomplishment. It is also a plus factor because such exercise allows him to relate better with other people outside the family.
Remembering a brother on special occasions like his birthday or Christmas through small gifts or even a card is a simple yet touching way to reach him. Congratulatory notes or cards or a treat for other little successes and important events for him like hurdling an exam or being chosen to lead a group or organization may also soften a hardened heart or an evasive soul.
A person bent on making it with his brother should pursue this with strong determination and willingness. Warm brotherly love will allow him to see eye to eye with the other, get along well and comfortably enjoy each other as they go through life.