Growing up with siblings has its ups and downs and anyone who has siblings of their own will agree. Having brothers or sisters is similar to having life long friends, but it isn’t always rainbows and butterflies. While some siblings seem to be each other’s biggest fans, others drive each other up the wall and can never seem to get along.
While it is normal for siblings to fight, just like every other type of relationship in life, there are ways to raise siblings who love each other. As a parent, raising kiddos who love each other and are kind to each other is a huge accomplishment and something many parents strive for. But it can be difficult, especially at certain ages, to make your kids get along.
At Inch By Inch Child Care in Bedford, we understand that siblings will not always see eye-to-eye, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t love each other and be kind to one another. When it comes to raising children who love each other, there are several things you can do as a parent to help nourish a loving relationship between your kiddos.
In this blog, we are going to give you some tips for raising siblings who get along and love each other. Follow these tips and help your kiddos realize that their sibling is one of their best friends that will always be by their side, throughout all of life.
One of the easiest ways to get your siblings to view each other in a negative light is to compare them to each other. Every child is different and every child will be different to raise. One of your children may be easier to deal with while the other is a little needier. If one of your children is outgoing and ready to jump into new activities, it can be difficult to not compare your shyer child who is slow to warm up to new activities to them. But saying things like “why can’t you be more like your brother, he is having fun and doesn’t need me to be right by his side” can make your other kiddo feel shameful.
When you compare your kiddos, they are more likely to form negative feelings toward their sibling for being more liked by you, even though that is not the case. Each of your children is special and unique in their own way. One may be more outgoing while the other may be more nurturing and want to help you in different ways. When one of your kiddos is struggling in some aspect, don’t compare them to their siblings, instead talk it out with them and find out how you can help them. This will help you better understand your child’s needs while not stimulating negative feelings between them.
Fights happen. They happen between siblings, parents, friends, and every other relationship possible. It is a part of life that really can’t be avoided. So teaching your children to handle conflict in a healthy way can help them resolve conflicts with their siblings quickly and easily. Children learn a lot from watching how you react. If they see their parents shouting, slamming doors, and throwing insults at each other, they are likely to act in the same way when fighting with their siblings. If you sit down and calmly talk about the conflict, your children will notice the positive way that you resolved your fight and be much more likely to do the same with their siblings.
Another thing you have to think about is how to break up fights. Sometimes it may be more beneficial to let them hash it out and figure out their problems on their own. Unless they are getting violent, let them fight it out and argue with each other. This will teach them problem-solving skills and allow them to build their relationship. If you do feel the need to step in be sure not to pick sides. Instead, let each child have their turn to talk and say what is bothering them or what the situation looked like to them. Make sure their sibling hears what they are saying. When both of your children feel heard, they will be able to resolve their conflict easier while building a better relationship.
Let Them Play
An article from Psychology Today mentions a study that looked at improving sibling relationships, found that children had better relationships when they both enjoyed the same activities. If you are working on nourishing a loving sibling relationship, pay attention to what activities interest all of them. This may be difficult if there is an age gap or you have more than two or three children, but when you find the right activity that they can all enjoy together, you can suggest this activity. You can even come up with unique ways for them to combine their interests, allowing them to play together while getting to participate in something each of them enjoys.
When you notice that your kiddos are playing together happily and getting along well, don’t bother them. Let them play together and try not to interrupt if possible. When your kiddos play together, they will build better bonds and learn to enjoy each other’s company.
Spend One-on-One Time With Each Child
How does spending time with each child individually help foster a loving sibling relationship? Well, it is quite simple actually. When you set specific times to spend one-on-one time with each of your children, they are less likely to feel the need to fight for your attention. You are giving each of your children the opportunity to be the center of attention which will make them less competitive with each other. On weekends, take turns taking one of your children on a special adventure.
But also make sure that you do fun things together so that they can also enjoy special time with you and each other. By spending quality time with each of them and making them spend quality time with each other, they will develop a strong love for family and a bond with their siblings.
Involve Them With Each Other
There are many different occasions when you may be doing something for one child but not the other, like feeding your little one while your older child has to feed themself. Rather than just leaving these instances as they are, find ways to involve all of your children to make them as though they are being helpful rather than feeling left out. If you are putting your younger child down for a nap, ask their older sibling to help read a story to their sibling. When you involve both children, you are building a loving and nurturing relationship.
These are a few tips that you can start with for raising siblings who love each other. At Inch By Inch Child Care, we know that raising loving siblings is important to many parents. Be sure to check out our child care programs and contact us today!