Three times in my life I've heard the words, "It's a boy!" come from an ultrasound technician. My boys are my world, and I'm thrilled they are growing up with brothers. Brothers are the best, at least in my house, and here are five reasons why.
Having a brother means having a best friend
I tell my boys to treat their brothers with kindness because they'll become your best friends for life. While brothers may fight from time to time, the bonds formed in childhood among boys last forever. In families with brothers, you don't have to worry about your boys finding great friends at school; they have the built-in buddies at home. As an added bonus, growing up in the same family gives them somewhat similar interests and some shared personality traits. Brothers are custom-made friends just for your sons.
Having a brother means someone always has your back
My boys are not immune from fighting, wrestling and calling names, but anyone outside the family better beware. Brothers stand up for each other. My boys tease each other, but heaven help the person who picks on one of their brothers. They're going to find out real fast what family loyalty is all about. There's a camaraderie among boys that, as a mother, is a beautiful thing to behold. I don't worry much about bullies and cliques at school because I know each of my boys already has someone in his corner.
Having a brother means not having to play gently
My 5-year-old told me the other day that he only wants to play with his brothers because everyone else makes him play too soft. Epic sword fights, wrestling matches and monster pillow fights are what brothers do. Since I wasn't raised in a house with boys, it worried me when my boys got aggressive, but I've mellowed to realize that's a brother's prerogative. In fact, brothers offer a great outlet for the physical play that helps boys make it through the day. I'm convinced the only reason my boys survive school is because they know they can come home and work out all that pent-up energy together.
Having a brother means getting around mom and dad
I talked the other day with another mom of multiple boys. We commiserated about the cumulative effects of brothers' plots. One boy can only get himself in so much trouble, but three boys can cook up three times the mischief. Having a brother means having a partner in crime — someone to sneak around with. It drives me nuts, but they're making awesome memories together.
I was as an only child, and now I'm very grateful my children have siblings. Brothers learn the fine arts of compromise, tact and diplomacy as they grow up together, and these lessons will serve them well throughout their entire lives. Being raised with brothers is a safe way to practice co-existing with others before the stakes are higher in adulthood. Brothers are boys' first teachers in how to live in a family, get along with co-workers and act as responsible citizens later in life.
Parents take heart. Even if you're tired of your boys fighting, arguing, wrestling and yelling, know that having brothers will make them good men in the end. Hopefully, one day, they will gather together with their families and swap war stories about raising their own sets of brothers.