Older siblings function as role models for younger ones. Younger siblings often mimic skills and strengths of their older sisters and brothers. Thus, older siblings sometimes feel that they have to attempt new things so as not to have younger siblings show them off. In addition, some dangerous and bad habits are passed along to younger siblings. On the other hand, many children try to differentiate themselves from their siblings. Consequently, younger children may reject the bad habits or examples set by older siblings and act wisely just to be different. The opposite is true as well: some younger siblings rebel to be different from their obedient older siblings.
Siblings are also gender models. Boys are usually more independent and competitive, while girls are often more sensitive and helpful. These gender-linked traits are accentuated when children grow up with opposite-sex siblings. It is also found that boys with older sisters and girls with older brothers have conversations with the opposite sex more easily and naturally.