(From left to right: Austin, me, brother Harry and Mom behind us)
Since my brother, Austin, and I started Wise Devices I have been asked a few times how it is that we can actually work together as siblings and how we came to be such close friends as we grew older.
The short answer is, because our parents didn’t give us a choice! My two older brothers and I (each of us about 18 months apart) were crammed together in cars, airplanes, trains; whatever it took to get us to our vacation destinations. Going on Spring Break with a friends’ family was not an option.
We fought, cried and complained everywhere we went but our parents kept us together, in spite of ourselves.
The thing about siblings, if you’re lucky enough to have one, is they really KNOW you. They know that “you” that is your basic self before the world makes you put up your walls and attitudes. And if you’re lucky enough to have a kind-hearted sibling then it’s one of the greatest friendships of all time.
The problem with our kids’ generation is even though we may cram them into cars etc to go places, they have the option of staring at a screen instead of debating where their seat begins and their sister’s ends, or who gets the window and, when completely bored, just exactly how to push every button your sibling has. Instead of having to negotiate and discuss things, our kids can tune out, and go online.
That also goes for free time in general. One of the reasons we GIVE our children screen time is so they stop fighting with their siblings. But without that fighting, the bonding doesn’t happen.
I’m the first person to be handing out devices before a long car ride. But when we are home and I know my children have an opportunity to interact with each other I make sure all they see is this:
There is no discussion. Maybe a small disappointed sound and a few minutes of sulking, but once they’ve been “Squished”, they are like magnets to each other, off playing, or fighting, with each other. But I know from experience it’s times like these that they will do their lifelong bonding with each other. And if they’re lucky enough, they might even start a company together some day. :)