Fostering Relationships with Siblings During Quarantine

DISCLAIMER: I am in no way trying to negate the pain and suffering that COVID-19 has inflicted upon so many, but rather offer a new perspective to those stuck in their houses during quarantine. 

Quarantine has resulted in more family time, and there are two different ways to perceive that situation: first, more contact with your siblings, more time to argue with them, more opportunities for the people in your family to butt heads. That is a perfectly understandable perspective to take, though it may not benefit you in the long run. Another perspective you can subscribe to is that quarantine is giving you time to bond with your family and make deeper connections with your siblings, parents, and anyone else living with you. 

As high-schoolers, we spend a lot of our time either in school, or completing homework, not engaging as frequently with our family members. Now, as we are at home all the time and workload has greatly decreased, we are pretty much forced to spend time with the people we live with. How can we make the most of this situation? 

Siblings have the special ability to get under your skin like no one else. Take this from someone who has seven, all of whom are living at home. Sibling dynamics are a funny thing. One minute you can be laughing like best friends and the next you can be bickering about something pointless. Quarantine doesn’t present any drastically new moments to share with your siblings, rather increases the quantity of them. Take advantage of these moments and turn them into opportunities to grow even closer with your siblings. 

Personally, I’ve found that just constantly being in close proximity to my siblings is making these new moments happen subconsciously. Conversations spark up more frequently and we have more time to waste by just hanging out. Also, our quarantine-induced boredom has made us all pick up new practices and hobbies, things you can do with the people in your family. For example, I take my younger siblings on walks around our block almost everyday. These walks give us yet another opportunity to talk and learn about each other (I now know the ins and outs of the social dynamic of my sister’s fourth grade class). We also spent an afternoon baking cookies and having a dance party. Further, because people spend so much time in online class, quarantine reduces the amount of time they want to remain on their phone afterwards: people are taking advantage of their new boredom and the recently beautiful weather to go on hikes and walks. Trails behind my house that you usually catch only a couple people on are now crowded. Noon Hill Reservation in Medfield even needed to close down their trails because having so many people wanting to go on hikes violated the social distancing policy. 

Overall, I think that we have been presented with an opportunity to foster relationships and bond with our family members. As a sophomore who will be leaving for college in two years, I am trying to use this time to connect with my younger siblings now before I move away. So, while your siblings can sometimes annoy the heck out of you, see if you can use this time to grow closer to them and become even better friends.

Catherine Olohan ’22, Assistant Copy Editor