I sometimes feel that siblings are a nuisance. They're never helpful. My younger sister vandalises my laptop, which I use to do my homework. My younger brother occupies my bed whenever he wants.
If you have siblings, chances are that you will have to share personal space with them. Rather than having your own room or the back seat of the car all to yourself, you usually have to share that space with them. They might be curious about your private life and read your emails, text messages or even personal diary.
Having siblings also means disputes over who gets to use the computer or where to go on a bike ride. My younger sister, especially, wants to have everything her way.
Finally, be ready to share your parents' resources. An only child gets all of their parents' time and money.
Lau Ka-wai, Tsuen Wan Public Ho Chuen Yiu Memorial College
From the Editor
Thank you for your letter, Ka-wai. When you're growing up, siblings can be very annoying. Trying to share things can be a pain, and taking others' thoughts into consideration means you don't always get what you want.
But really, they teach you many things. Arguing about where to go for a bike ride? Try getting 15 people to agree where to go for a staff dinner. Need to negotiate for more space in the car's back seat? Try negotiating for a pay increase with your boss when times are tough. Need to do what they want sometimes? That's the basis of teamwork.
People who grow up without siblings often have a very hard time adjusting to work life. As China's only children join the workforce, they don't understand teamwork, and expect everything to go their way. This makes them unable to cope with setbacks.
As you grow older and distance yourself from your siblings, you'll find they become a blessing. Pay it forward.