14 reasons your brother is the greatest gift your parents ever gave you

Whether you and your brother are close or distant, similar or vastly different, there are several reasons having a brother is a gift — here are some of them.

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  • Having a brother means experiencing exasperation, a fair share of sibling rivalry, complete bafflement, and from time to time, disgust. You'll also experience some other more endearing or just plain useful things that come with life with a brother:

  • 1. You'll learn about compromise

  • Having a brother in your life forces you to compromise on everything. Whether you're pre-schoolers negotiating over what toys to play with, teenagers trying to share a car, or thirty-somethings debating whether he really has to wear a tux for your wedding, compromise is a life skill those with brothers learn early.

  • 2. And friendship

  • It may not seem like it when you're little, but your brother often becomes your best friend and closest confidante over time. Sure, you've had your squabbles, but he's someone who's always been there for you.

  • 3. And patience

  • Brothers are annoying. You'll get to practice patience every single day growing up alongside him. And patience is a virtue, right?

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  • 4. You have a partner in crime

  • You've had friends to get you in and out of trouble, but your brother was your first partner in crime. You learned to cover for each other, watch each other's backs, and share the blame when you inevitably got caught.

  • 5. He'll make you laugh

  • Sometimes on purpose, but often by accident. Brothers do the funniest things, and it's your job to laugh at his jokes (and always remind him about that time whipping cream came out of his nose).

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  • 6. He'll protect you

  • Brothers almost always have a protective side. You're often happy he's so protective ... but not always.

  • 7. Sometimes he'll come to your rescue when you least expect it

  • Brothers are great at stepping in and helping out when you're in an awkward situation. Just when you admit to your parents that you messed up, he comes home to admit an even worse mistake - deflecting the attention beautifully.

  • 8. You'll never be lonely

  • Long road trips, ill-planned family vacations, boring visits to relatives you have nothing in common with: these can be incredibly tedious for an only child. And while you and your brother may be singing together or arguing together, at least you have company when visiting auntie and uncle.

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  • 9. When you ask for help, he has to give it to you

  • Friends can be busy when you need them to help you move or unclog your toilet, but your brother has a familial duty to help out his siblings.

  • 10. He's (brutally) honest

  • You can always count on your brother's honest opinion. You have enough history that he can tell you exactly what he thinks about your new hair-cut, or your latest crush, when all your friends (and even your parents) sugarcoat the truth and try not to hurt your feelings.

  • 11. He'll share your problems

  • We all have plenty of problems that are directly tied to our family backgrounds, our relatives or the way we grew up - you brother has the same ones. He can relate, and he'll be there for you as you work through the unique challenges your childhood gave you both.

  • 12. And your responsibilities

  • If you're still young it may be hard to relate, but one day your parents will be elderly and you'll have to take care of them. Your brother can share the responsibilities and the emotions that go with that stage of life.

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  • 13. You'll always have someone to be nostalgic with

  • As we get older, it's nice to spend time with people who knew us when we were young. It's great to have someone to relive your youth with and get nostalgic with. You may reach a life stage where your brother has known you longer than anyone else in the world and is the best person to reminisce with.

  • 14. He'll always love you

  • Even if he rarely (or never) tells you, he loves you. Some brothers are affectionate, but a lot aren't. Know that brotherly love runs deep, and no matter how much you mess up or irritate him, your brother probably still loves you, a lot.

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Karen Banes is a freelance writer specializing in parenting, lifestyle and entrepreneurship. Contact her at her website or via Twitter where she tweets as @karenbanes.

Website: http://www.karenbanes.com/

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