Why I Needed My Sisters

By | January 11, 2024

[January 11, 2024]  I was sitting on the living room floor with my hand-made kite working away, making modifications to get it to fly correctly; I had failed earlier that day, which was maddening.  I was the only one in my small group of new friends who couldn’t get his kite to fly successfully.  I was maybe 10 or 11 years old.  The next thing I knew, my sister Terri was sitting off to the side looking at me.  If there is one thing I learned growing up, it is that we boys need our sisters.  Indeed, I needed my sisters.

She is four years younger, so at the time, she must have been six or seven, small in stature, always a happy girl, but quiet and unassuming.  Like so many times in the past, when I was building something, she would ask me what I was doing.  No matter what or how busy I was, I told her.  She would smile, rarely saying anything.  This time, however, she asked with the straightest face, “Will it fly for me?”  I sat there thinking that I wanted to make her smile again.

I believe that a major role of a sister, for her brother, is encouragement.  Just by her innocent question, I was inspired to continue working.  I think she was, unintentionally perhaps, demanding me to mature, to be more than I could be.  She was doing that so I could do what was proper to get my built-from-scratch kite up in the air.

Earlier the night before, there had been a huge thunderstorm, and all of us kids were scared, thinking that our house might not withstand the hard rain and wind.  We sat together.  Mom and Dad spoke softly to keep our frightened minds off the storm.  After putting cooking pots on the floor to strategically catch dripping water from the ceiling, they asked Terri what she wanted to do, maybe play a game.  She said she wanted to see the kite “in the heavens.” That was a miraculous comment from her, being so young, but it gave me a sense of pride, and I wouldn’t want to disappoint.

As I got older and accumulated friends, I did not appreciate my sister’s help and encouragement as much.  Especially that I was a bit of a disagreeable kid, that may be part of it.  I was probably an ungrateful little rugrat, sometimes a little monster too, maybe a tad uncivilized and may have ignored my little sister.  She recently told me I once sat on her and farted purposely.  I don’t remember, but she assured me that it did happen.  I don’t recommend that sibling tactic.  Looking back, my less-than-stellar behavior was something I regret.  It took me until I left home at 17 to reevaluate my place as a brother.  And I think, in part, it was because my youngest sister Paula, 14 years younger, brought me back to the understanding that both sisters were there to encourage me, which is no small matter for a boy or a young man.

I needed my sisters.  All of us boys do need our sisters.  And men need their sisters, always.  That’s a simple facet of life, a lesson lost in modern times that emphasizes the devaluation of the relationship between boys and their sisters.


Please read my books:

  1. “55 Rules for a Good Life,” on Amazon (link here).
  2. “Our Longest Year in Iraq,” on Amazon (link here).
Author: Douglas R. Satterfield

Hello. I provide one article every day. My writings are influenced by great thinkers such as Friedrich Nietzsche, Karl Jung, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Jean Piaget, Erich Neumann, and Jordan Peterson, whose insight and brilliance have gotten millions worldwide to think about improving ourselves. Thank you for reading my blog.

29 thoughts on “Why I Needed My Sisters

  1. Eye Cat

    Sir, you make a great point and one that is too often overlooked. Our sisters are an important part of our lives. I listen to adult young men who have had sisters in their lives that made them better men. Conversely, I met young men who don’t know how to properly act around women or respect them and treat them well who never had sisters. This is anecdotal I know but still an observation that fits Gen. Satterfield’s thinking.

  2. Eddie Ray Anderson, Jr.

    Let us not overlook the great importance of this article. We do indeed need our sisters (I’m talking about boys and men needing their sisters). Being raised in a family of mixed genders means that a person grows up with the appreciation of everyone – kind of a forced diversity. The more kids, the more sane and healthier a child will be, less likely to engage in crime, go to prison, live longer, be more successful, etc. With their father and mother at home, this is how good people are encouraged to do good.

      1. Dead Pool Guy

        Sisters make us better, period. without them, we are lesser boys/men. While there are many psychological reasons, I’m sure, there are also social reasons that having sisters works for young males.

  3. Tom Bushmaster

    Wow , another great article. And this one on the need for good sisters for good boys. Taken from the view of a young boy, this article is truly amazing. A boy, so young, to notice that his sister is helping him become a better person, and yet being unable to articulate that thankfulness.

  4. Eddie Gilliam

    Gen Douglas my friend. You did it again. You can replace my name with your. You wrote my life story. My little sister is 3 years younger than I. She was a tattle tell. I going to tell mom. She was the only girl and baby of family. Growing up she would encourage me and my brother Wayne we can do it. Mom went work during the summer; my sister at age 12 told to cook for us. She tried but she was not a good cook. Matter of fact she was awful. I was working on the farm during the summer to get money to buy my school stuff and help mommy out. Mom had me give her an allowance each week for keeping the house clean. I did it but felt like I was getting cheated because my sister was not a good house keeper either.
    As we got older moved from home; my brother Wayne would call her for help with marries issues.

    Wayne and I was just talking about Myra my sister. How he missed her, the wise life issues she shared with him. She passed on September 11, 2004 from lung cancer.
    Something about having a sister makes a difference in the family.
    A sister even though she get on your nerves cherishing her. She keeps , men. her brother balance
    Balance from a women perspective.

    1. New Girl

      Thank you Eddie and my condolences on the loss of your sister. I know that my sisters are part of making my life easier and better. They still do today.

      1. Len Jakosky

        New Girl, got that right. This is also one great article and not to be taken in passing but one to remember.

    2. Lady in Waiting

      Of course, this is why sisters are so wonderful to their brothers, especially to older brothers. 👀

    3. Douglas R. Satterfield Post author

      Thank you Eddie, and I do believe you are right. So many similarities. In the 1960s this was not uncommon. Today, however, we would not be so fortunate.

  5. Goalie for Cal State

    I’ve been a regular on this blog by Gen. Satterfield for several years, and he never fails to give me something to think about and today’s article is no exception. I would like to point out for those who have not done so yet, that reading his second book “55 rules for a good life” is something no one can miss, if you want to get a “how to” book on living a better life. The book is filled with examples and recommendations on living better. He doesn’t go into great detail which makes the book more readable. Get it now and get several copies and give them to your kids.

    1. Randy Goodman

      True enough, Goalie. I made this same recommendation a few months ago.

  6. Boy Sue

    “I believe that a major role of a sister, for her brother, is encouragement. Just by her innocent question, I was inspired to continue working. I think she was, unintentionally perhaps, demanding me to mature, to be more than I could be. She was doing that so I could do what was proper to get my built-from-scratch kite up in the air.” — Gen. Doug Satterfield once again hits the nail on the head with this paragraph. He recognizes that sisters are not competitors with their brothers but part of their rightful and needed mental development.

      1. Rev. Michael Cain

        He did get it right. Let us pray for all our sisters. 🙏

  7. Jammie

    Loving your brothers (and sisters) is key to a healthy life. For those without brothers or sisters, your life will be much more difficult and only made a little better by having both parents in a loving family. If you are an only kid and you are living with your divorced mother, then you will not have a great life unless you personally take immediate responsibility to marry, have kids, go to church, and make sure your created family is loving. That is harder than those from larger families.

    1. Pink Cloud

      Jammie, I hope that is supported in more than anecdotally. I too lived in a large family and had all the advantages which, looking back, were not all easy.

      1. Cat A Miss

        Yeah, I see what you guys mean. Thank God I have a wonderful and loving family. 👪👪👪👪👪

    1. Lady Hawk

      Yeah, Lynn, same here. ❤ I too loved my brothers (and all in the family) but them specifically. ❤ Keep up the faith with your brothers and thanks to Gen. Satterfield for another article that inspires me. ❤


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