Worried that your kids aren’t displaying the strongest of bonds between each other? Don’t worry, these 10 tips will help you to foster an unbreakable bond between your children.
Validate Children Individually
No child is better or less than the other, so it’s important that you allow all of your children to feel loved and important in their own right. Jealousy is a destructive emotion to have, so situations where one sibling will be made to feel like they’re in a competition with the other should be avoided at all cost. Simply put, just celebrate each of your children for their unique achievements, not in comparison to one another, but to just acknowledge what makes each of them great. The key is to not say things that will allow one to have a bigger head than the other.
Stop Seeing Fights As A Bad Thing
No matter how old we are, arguments are inevitable, and that goes for our children as well. All siblings fight, there’s no two ways about it. But fighting doesn’t mean that they aren’t bonded or that they don’t like each other. In fact, the next time you find your children in the midst of an argument, use the opportunity to teach them conflict resolution skills which will increase their sibling bond as they learn to settle their differences.
Stop Forcing Them To Share When They Don’t Want To
We understand the need to enforce fairness, especially when it seems like one child seems to be getting more than the other. But forcing one child to share – be it their toy, food or any other item – can actually foster resentment and anger towards the other. This can be quite a tough line to navigate, but it’s not at all unachievable. Simply encourage that they share, but don’t insist if they refuse to. Eventually, they’ll do it on their own without prodding.
Stop Hounding Them To Be Friends
It’s normal to expect your children to get along, after all, society has all sorts of unrealistic expectations of how a tight sibling bond should look like. But just because they’re siblings doesn’t mean the affection between them should be seen as obligatory or inevitable. Instead, allow the connection to be formed naturally as the grow up together.
Don’t Force Conversation If It’s Not Happening
Similarly to the above point, forcing your children to talk to each other can also backfire, especially if they don’t want to talk. While some of us may think that the only way for two people to bond is to create constant conversation, silence can be just as powerful in establishing a close relationship as well. Just like how some adults feel closer to one another after spending some quiet time together, the same goes for our kids as well.
Leave Them Alone Together Sometimes
Micromanaging your children’s every move will cause them to be heavily dependant on you as they grow older, so the best thing you can do is to create situations where they can depend on each other. Obviously, this is heavily dependant on how old your children are, as you would definitely not want to leave a baby alone with a toddler. But if you have an older child, you can task them to help the younger one with their homework or to even help feed the baby, all while you observe from a distance. Whatever it is, just make sure that the activity is conducted in a safe and age-appropriate way.
Give Them Joint Chores
If you grew up having siblings, we’re pretty sure you would have had a treasured memory of doing some sort of “forced labour” together, whether it’s preparing a meal or cleaning out the garage. But while chores may not be all that fun, chances are that the experience was a really fun one – and there’s good reason for that. Having kids work on large tasks together encourages cooperation, and will also result in your kids having a shared pride in their completed work.
Encourage Them To Go To Each Other For Help
As parents, we often want to come to the rescue of our children whenever they are facing any problems, after all, we never like to see our kids suffer. But more often than not, your “stepping in” robs them of their chance to harness and hone their problem-solving skills. As such, the next time any one of your children are faced with a problem, encourage them to ask each other for help, and let them be each other’s support.
Don’t Play Favourites
Be completely honest with yourself, no matter how hard you try, there will always be instances where you’ll favour one of your children more than you do the other. And while it’s a completely normal feeling to have, it’s crucial to not show it. Children are more keen-eyed than most adults realise, and if they pick up that you’re playing favourites, it can cause them to be resentful towards you long into adulthood.
Celebrate Sibling Day (10 April)
There’s nothing more fun than celebrating a holiday, and what better way to bring your children together than on a holiday that celebrates them for being siblings! It doesn’t have to be an elaborate affair, just a simple get together with activities that everyone will enjoy is good enough. And hey, although it might be a holiday for your kids, we won’t judge if you’ll want to get in on the celebrations and call your own siblings to reminisce about the good ol’ times.