195. Growing up with brothers and sisters makes for a beautiful experience of caring for and helping one another. For “fraternity in families is especially radiant when we see the care, the patience, the affection that surround the little brother or sister who is frail, sick or disabled”.(Catechesis (18 February 2015))
One of the stories from the foster years of my young miss involves her placement in a home with severely handicapped children. She watched the foster mom clean out another child’s breathing tube and once, while the woman was occupied, noticed some discomfort on the part of her foster sibling, and had begun the procedure herself. I loved hearing that story when it was first related to me.
It must be acknowledged that “having a brother or a sister who loves you is a profound, precious and unique experience”.(Ibid.) Children do need to be patiently taught to treat one another as brothers and sisters. This training, at times quite demanding, is a true school of socialization. In some countries, where it has become quite common to have only one child, the experience of being a brother or sister is less and less common. When it has been possible to have only one child, ways have to be found to ensure that he or she does not grow up alone or isolated.
Yes, this is an issue for our family and our only child. Any experiences of your own that shed light to share?
For your reference, remember that Amoris Laetitia is online here.