I think every parent of two or more has this on their mind – establishing a strong sibling bond…life is so much easier when the kids get along and you’re not refereeing all day. Ever wonder why some siblings get along why some cannot even be alone in the same room together? Well in this post, I have a few tips that have worked really well in my house. Don’t get me wrong…there are days where I feel like I’ve been the ref between a 2 and 4 year old ALL day, but we can minimize those days with proper communication & by building the sibling bond.
Below are some tips on how to create a loving & nurturing home:
Give the older sibling a sense of responsibility over the younger sibling. For example, if we have a babysitter I will talk to my older son and explain to him that he needs to watch over his sister and take care of her. I’ll ask him to help his sister put on her shoes, again simple tasks. Have the older sibling teach or read to the younger sibling. My son loves to play flashcards with my daughter. He always tries to help out with potty training by explaining to his sister how he uses the potty. You can get creative and add your own twist to this.
Show don’t tell
If your son or daughter does something to make the other sibling upset you can let them “show” their apology by making a drawing and present it like a card and apologize as they hand the card over. (I don’t do this every time, but depending on what the issue is you can choose to do this on occasion).
It’s also important for the parents to “show” their love towards each other. Kids learn by example…so in a way it’s contradicting if you’re constantly arguing with your spouse in front of the kids and then turn around and try to establish a loving relationship between them. It sure does not help.
Kids need tons plus more reminders. Sometimes by the end of the night my throat is dry from the amount of times I’ve repeated something lol. Just remind yourself that the reward will eventually pay off and to always remind your children what good behavior is vs. bad behavior. They will test you like no other to see how far they can go and if you do not explain to them right from wrong then who will they learn from?
Be consistent with them. It’s pretty simple but we all need reminders…if sibling B receives something (ex: a toy or candy) make sure sibling A is included or be ready to have a good explanation. Kids thrive on consistency, whether it’s learning a new word or telling their sibling that they love them every night. Be consistent by displaying loving behavior and eventually it will become the norm and they will just do it on their own.
Also be sure you & your spouse are on the same page and are consistent with the types of behaviors you choose to instill in your children.
In conclusion, our roles as parents are intertwined and you will definitely see the pay off if everyone in the family works towards establishing a strong bond early on (as early as possible). Remember that parenting is not easy and we have huge responsibilities! By God’s grace, we have so much information & research available to us at our fingertips, so do not ever feel like you’re stuck! If you have any tips please share 🙂 I am not a professional…just a mom who only wants the best for her children.