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7 Great life skills gained from growing up in a large family

Large family

Vitalinka | Shutterstock

Cerith Gardiner - published on 04/07/24

Having multiple siblings can be a blessing in so many ways. And here are just a few essential skills you'll learn amidst the chaos of family life.

Growing up in a large family offers a unique schooling in life, where every day is a lesson in love, patience, and teamwork… among so many other things! While sometimes having numerous siblings can drive you a little crazy, all those brothers and sisters actually help you develop some incredible skills that you can take out into the working world and beyond.

Here are some of the main skills you might have unwittingly developed throughout your childhood; however, if you feel there are more, we’d love to hear about them in the comments.

Organization

One of the things about growing up in a large family is you have to make sure you have your time in the bathroom. If you want to beat your siblings to the hot water, you’ll have to get organized and make sure you choose the perfect time to take your shower. This skill extends to making sure you find all your laundry and sports gear as and when you need it, especially if siblings have a tendency to “borrow” your things.

Adaptability

However, when things don’t go according to plan, children need to take on a more flexible approach. From sharing spaces to managing schedules, siblings learn to adapt and flexibly navigate various situations. This skill teaches them to embrace change and respond with grace to life’s unexpected twists, even if it means they’re might be a few squabbles here and there.

Communication

With multiple voices chiming in, communication becomes essential for harmony. Children in large families hone their listening and articulation skills as they learn to express themselves amidst the lively chatter. Effective communication fosters understanding, empathy, and deeper connections, echoing the importance of clear and compassionate communication which can go a long way in building future relationships.

Conflict resolution

Sibling squabbles are part and parcel of growing up in any family, but they’re amplified when there are more siblings in the mix. The great news is that through these conflicts, children develop conflict resolution skills, learning to negotiate, compromise, and (hopefully) forgive. They discover the value of humility and reconciliation, echoing the call to peace and reconciliation that are central to Catholic values.

Responsibility

In a large household, everyone pitches in to keep the ship sailing smoothly. Children learn responsibility by taking on tasks, caring for younger siblings, and contributing to the family’s well-being. This fosters a sense of duty, accountability, and stewardship, aligning with the call we have to care for God’s creation.

Compassion

Amidst the chaos of a large family, moments of tenderness and compassion shine brightly. Children witness firsthand the joys and sorrows of their siblings, cultivating empathy, kindness, and selflessness. They learn to support and uplift one another, which is essential in so many areas of adult life.

Humor

One thing that shines through from growing up in a large family is the countless opportunities to laugh. Whether it’s having a good chuckle at a sibling’s jokes, giggling when things go wrong — as they inevitably do when there are many people to manage — or being encouraged to laugh at yourself, developing a great sense of humor is a gift that can be used in the trickiest moments in life.

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Catholic LifestyleFaithFamily
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