National Sibling Day takes place every year in the U.S. on April 10. The holiday was conceived in the '90s by New York resident Claudia Evart after she lost both of her siblings early in life. Evart now runs the Siblings Day Foundation, which aims to make Sibling Day federally recognized like Mother's Day and Father's Day. For those of you who have siblings, here are five facts about them you might not have been aware of:
- Your siblings literally shape who you are. Whether you consciously realize it or not, you actually learn a whole lot about life from your siblings. Even though you're mostly influenced by your parents, a brother or sister can teach you all you need to know about some of the more informal skills in life, like how to act at school or how to seem "cool" around your friends.
- Having a younger sibling is good for your health. According to a recent study led by researchers at the University of Michigan, becoming a big brother or sister before a certain age can lower your risk of becoming obese. In the study, the birth of a new sibling is associated with a healthier body mass index, especially if the older sibling is between the ages of 2 and 4 at the time of the child's birth.
- The youngest sibling is the funniest. Research from YouGov shows, in a general sense, birth order can shape your personality. For example, the oldest child in a family tends to feel a greater weight of responsibility, while younger siblings characterize themselves as more easygoing, relaxed and, of course, funny.
- Sisters protect their siblings from feeling blue. A study from Brigham Young University finds having a sister, even if she's younger than you, protects you from feelings of loneliness, guilt, fear and self-consciousness, especially if you're a young teen.
- Having a sibling of the opposite sex can help you get dates. In Jeffrey Kluger's book The Sibling Effect, he includes tons of fun facts—all backed up by science—about sibling relationships. For example, when you pair people up in a speed-dating scenario, the men who grew up with sisters tend to be much better at conversing with the opposite sex, compared to those who grew up with brothers or as only children. And the same turned out to be true for women who have brothers as well.