How Parents Can Strengthen Sibling Bonds
MARCH 2, 2020
Parents have a lot of influence and responsibility over sibling-to-sibling relationships. While it is ultimately between the children to have a strong connection, parents can guide and nourish that relationship from an early age. Here are some ways that parents can do this:
Encourage Activities That Both Children Like
Kids are usually open to different kinds of play if presented in the right way, just like children can become good at sharing. Provide opportunities and plan time where they are able to play together in a way that they will both enjoy.
Do Not Interrupt Happy Play
These times may be rare for some siblings. If you as a parent are able to hold off on interrupting this happy play time, both children will benefit. They will remember the happy memories and be more likely to play together nicely the next time.
Create a Happy Environment
Children feed off of other’s emotions, so make sure that the house is a place where it is common to be happy.
Encourage One-on-One Play
Some children are just naturally more connected and drawn to certain siblings. This is good, but can be bad for the bonding between the siblings that never spend alone time together. If you have children that have favorite siblings, encourage and create times where they are alone with their other siblings in a happy environment. This may be uncomfortable for the children, but the more times it happens the more normal and comfortable it will be.
Teach Them How to Serve One Another
You usually get to know and love those who serve you and those you serve. Encourage your children and present ideas of how they can serve each sibling throughout the week. It can be something very simple and small, but the important thing is that it will get them thinking about the other person more often and will help them get to know each other.
Teach Them to Love Each Other
The best way to do this is by example. Make it a common thing to say “I love you” in your home. Young children usually love to love others, so start from an early age. Say “I love you” every night to each child and encourage each sibling to say it to each other each night as well. Teach by example to hug each other. Another thing to do is to sit down as a family once a week and go around the room and have each child say something that they like about each of their siblings. This could seem awkward and may not feel beneficial at times, but it will pay off by getting your children comfortable with saying nice things about each other.
Have Them Work Together Instead of Individually
Without noticing it, parents often give chores to each child to do by themselves. Start having the children do things in pairs and switch up the pairs each time so each child will know how to work and get along with each sibling.
12 Tips to Build a Stronger Sibling Bond. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/peaceful-parents-happy-kids/201706/12-tips-build-stronger-sibling-bond