My brothers, the best school of life

There are stories between siblings that are repeated in every home. The little ones are seen by the older brothers as the invaders of a territory whose map they dominated, who will suddenly have responsibilities they would never have imagined, such as caring for and watching. So, in such a realistic way, the book begins Supergermans (La Galera), published by the publisher Pema Maymó, who knows a nest of siblings: she is the mother of three children and she, in turn, is the eldest of her parents’ three children.


Pep and Valentina (9 years old), the fictional protagonists of Supergermans -based on Pema’s children-, “the world they dominated in the air jumps on them as soon as Joana (3 years old) appears in their lives”. And it is so, in part, because it falls on them a responsibility they did not have till then. Society itself reminds them of them when they go shopping or walking. “Do you take good care of her, little sister?”, “Watch the little sister, so that she doesn’t fall off the couch”, are some sentences from the story that reflect life. “I this point of responsibility is already fine, but I don’t know to what extent we give them too much”, Says Pema, who remembers that at home her grandmother had told them that she had to take care of the baby at home, because her grandmother was the eldest of eleven siblings.

Pep and Valentina, 9 years old, playing with Joana, their little sister Zoom

The fact is that in the book, the older brothers end up living a fantastic adventure that helps to integrate the little one. If they hadn’t worked as a team, they wouldn’t have made it. Together is how they win and overcome obstacles with their stuffed animals, who no longer wanted their company. “With siblings, teamwork, so to speak, is essential; you have to negotiate, give in, divide tasks, and someone pulls the cart so that the others can go after it, and other times the roles are exchanged ”, comments Maymó, who adds that she also lived it as an older sister. “We had fought so hard! -remember-. Sometimes we were two against each other; others, I alone against the other two. And we ended up coming out of the conflicts badly or not, but, in any case, we always felt like a team ”. Now, as adults, despite the physical distances that separate them, and also the “different” characters, they have never felt far away. “We are united by an unconditional love for everything we lived together as children”Says Pema, who speaks like an older sister.


As a mother of three, she relives the fights she witnesses daily. “For example, a while ago, I heard that they were fighting because they did not agree on what they wanted to watch on television. The little one was asking for drawings while the twins were asking for a movie. When the fight has resulted in tears, I intervened because the conflict was not being resolved between them”. When the mother gets there, she asks them to tell her what happened and therefore she wants calm so that they can tell her how it all went. And with the explanation, came the proposal she made to the three of them: since you have an agreed time to watch TV, you can decide what to watch today and leave the other option for tomorrow. The solution seemed good to them.

“When they explode, I have to look for them to negotiate and respect each other,” says Pema. And it’s not always easy, because tense situations are linked to screams and feelings that can’t be controlled at peak times. ” For that sometimes the solution is to let it be, and go back to it when they have calmed down. “A phrase I tell them a lot is, ‘Don’t call me. Have you ever heard me call my mother? ” In other words, Pema maintains that unconditional love as brothers, and as children, should never make them lose the respect they deserve. Therefore, let them not shout, let them not be insulted. Interestingly, he continues to explain to his mother, “until a few years ago I found that my routines with children was to instill habits in them; now, at 9 and 3, everything has changed and education takes one new path that goes by declining the word respect in all situations”.

Psychologist Maria Mercè Conangla points out that the sibling relationship is a school of learning and also of survival. “I see it now with the grandchildren too,” he says. For example, one of my daughters has 7-year-old Aniol and 3-year-old Joana. I see how the little girl has had to be smart and has ended up advancing in knowledge by imitating her brother; he takes it as a reference because, due to his age, he sees it very close ”. Seeing how they relate, the grandmother also checks how the little one has learned to say no, to draw character to defend what she would like, and that her brother does not impose what he, out of age superiority, would do. “Having learned all this at home, at school, when it happens to them, they will have the tools to know how to defend themselves,” says Conangla.

Pema Maymó has been inspired by her children for her story about the relationship between siblings Zoom

And all that looking at the learnings of the little ones, but the big ones do too, when “they realize, for example, that they are no longer the king of the mambo and that since the family world has the resources it has, they will have to share everything”. They see that if they continue their individualism, they will be left alone. “They may want to be alone, but sooner or later they realize that it is very boring and that it is better to negotiate with the brethren, loosen up, and pact”Says the psychologist. Living with siblings also varies according to age. “When the age difference is short, coexistence is more intense, and there can be more conflicts, with all that entails,” he says.

Finally, Maria Rosa Buxarrais, a professor at the UB Faculty of Education, maintains that “having siblings teaches you to relate better and learn strategies that help you cope with society”. In fact, he concludes, “emotional skills are largely developed in the family.”

Source: – Portada by

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