Siblings – Fostering Close Relationships

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Siblings have a unique bond. They will be there for each other throughout their lives — in a way we, as parents, can not. They are each other’s pillars of strength through all the ups and downs. Therefore, it’s our job as parents to set the foundation for such a relationship from the beginning.

1 Comparing builds competition. Children are instinctually competitive with one another. When you compare your children with one another, then they will start to do the same for themselves. This fosters jealousy between each other. But as parents, we must strive to foster a close relationship between them. Having a sibling that they are close to and can rely on can be so beneficial. Especially when we, parents, start to grow old. When you have a strong family system, they will stick with one another through the bad times life will bring their way.

2 Don’t use comparisons as a motivator. Create a peaceful home by avoiding comparisons. Sure, you may discuss these with your spouse but be aware to not speak about them in front of your children. Don’t use comparisons as a motivator. Phrases such as “Your brother always liked soccer, why don’t you?” or “Your sister never got in this much trouble,” will only do the opposite. 

3 Stop labeling your children. Don’t label your children as the pretty one or the smart one. By doing this you are putting limitations on who they can be. And also, children change every year. Don’t box them up in these labels as they will believe they cannot be anything more. 

4 Honor their uniqueness. Accept their differences and uniqueness. Foster their independence as well as who they are as individuals. Not every one of your children will be interested in sports or art. Let your children find their passions on their own. Present them with opportunities but let them take the lead on what makes them happy. It is important not only to avoid sibling conflicts but it helps them grow into a well-adjusted adult.

5 Spend one-on-one time. A fun tradition to implement into your family is picking out special days where you can spend one on one time with each child. Giving them their own special day really helps them feel valued and loved. Let them choose what they would like to do. While doing things as a family is important, giving their moment to shine all on their own is just as important as well.

6 Create an atmosphere for teamwork. When children feel like they are part of the family team, they feel valued. Give everyone an equal opportunity to have their voices heard or to be part of the family planning. Everyone should share chores and they should be rotated evenly. Creating a team environment teaches them to get along in groups. It shows them responsibility and the importance of working hard together. 

7 Encourage them to celebrate one another. Have them take part in helping to celebrate one another. When it is one child’s birthday, have their siblings help with the birthday party planning. Ask them their input on what they think their brother or sister would like. Motivate them to be there for one other, through the victories and losses. By allowing them to participate in each of their lives, you can help continue to foster their relationship with one another.

Remember that healthy relationships take work. There will be good days and there will be bad ones too. The key to success is to remain consistent and always be patient.