Lessons I’ve learned being an elder sister

What did life teach me when I had a brother with an age gap of 10 years?

Rachel Grace
5 min readMay 26, 2021


Yes, you read it right. An age gap of 10 years. I know this is not something very alien and many families have such gaps between their children.

But I think it is important to highlight the changes the elder sibling goes through when a younger sibling arrives.

Even when I was a single child I always craved a sibling. I envied my friends who had siblings to play with, fight over sharing the toys and food.

Now that I think about it one of the reasons I craved a sibling was also that I was extremely introverted in my childhood.

I had a hard time meeting new people and making friends. I was only close to my parents and I loved being around them. A new person or a different environment made me feel uneasy.

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Finally, my brother arrived when I was 10 years old. He was mine. All mine. I loved having a brother.

I’d take care of him while my mum was busy. I’d play with him. I helped him walk his first step. I taught him how to speak. I loved him dearly.

Yes, there were a few times when I felt a bit jealous of all the attention he was getting. But it didn't last long. After all, I had all the attention from my mom and dad for 10 years.

Like every other girl, my early adolescent phase was unpleasant. It drew a gap between me and my baby brother. I was too moody to deal with changes happening in my body that I didn't pay much attention to him. Being an introvert in the early adolescent phase and getting into the new school. All at the same time. Imagine that!!

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One day I realized that I am making my brother feel the same way as I once did. Feeling alone. Something hit and I bridged that gap between us.

Lessons it taught me about life —

A baby is just like a mirror

We really need to be the best version of ourselves around babies. Whatever we do, they impersonate it. For babies, their families are the only world for a long time that they are attached to. They look up to us, they learn from us.

Photo by writer

I found out that whenever I showed anger, he showed it too. Whenever I threw tantrums he did it too. I had a habit of not eating my meals whenever I was upset with my parents. Guess what? He did that too. And each time he impersonated my bad behavior I felt highly responsible and guilty.

My baby brother enabled me to become calmer and compose. Because of him I also worked upon my introverted nature because I didn't want him to borrow my inhibitions. I learned to treat people in a good way.

Be a REAL person

Having said that we need to be the best version of oursleves around babies doesn’t mean that we become this unrealistic person. We do not need to hide our flaws. Be organic.

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Rather, be expressive, apologising when something wrong. Correcting your mistakes. Being kind to everyone. let them know that it is fine to make mistakes. Teaching them to take lessons from their mistake.

Being a mother is not an easy play

I always saw my brother as my son due to the age gap. I always considered myself as his second mother. I felt sad when he was not eating properly or I felt uneasy when he was late in learning to speak.

This taught me that being a mother is like having your piece of the heart outside of your body and taking care that it does not get hurt.

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It made me value and appreciate my mother so much more. I was able to see the many sacrifices moms need to make for their children. I saw that being a mother is giving an infinite amount of unconditional love.

It is essential to keep the child in you alive

There is a child in everyone and there are times when people let their inner child out.

Whenever I used to get upset over mere things in life I used to see my brother being all cheerful just by watching his favorite Mr. Bean show or having his favorite Chicken Kebabs. It made me realize how by fretting over small things I myself ruined my day.

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Sadly, a lot of people have demeaned being childish. So many people relate it to being immature. This is absolutely not true.

Keeping the child in you alive simply means preserving the innocence and that happiness which you get from tiny things.

In my case, having loads of chocolates and visiting new places is what brings out my inner child. I get so excited about these things that I cannot even pretend to not be happy or act all calm and compose.

Discuss everything

A child should never feel any hesitation in sharing anything with the family. We should always create a space where they can talk about anything they want. Discuss what is going on in their lives. Communicate their feelings.

My parents somewhere failed to create that space for me. Some topics were taboos. But I made sure to have an easy relationship with my brother where he comes and talks to me about anything.

Whenever a child tells you something which you highly disagree with don't push him away and end the conversation abruptly. It confuses the child and makes him feel out of the way. It ruins the future chances of your child discussing anything with you which he thinks you will not like. This leads to a gap between you and your child. It also may lead to your child choosing the wrong path.

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Rather, try this. Listen to them calmly. Do not interrupt them. Let them complete their thoughts. And then make them understand what is wrong in the situation. How they should solve it. How can they dodge it in the future.

What are the life lessons you have learnt from babies or children? Let’s share and cheer. ❤



Rachel Grace

Reader, writer , optimistic, cheerleader, learner , moody . Come say Hi and share your thoughts with me .