Positive Parenting – 5 ways to connect and improve sibling relationships
Inside: You will pick up 5 simple ways to build sibling relationship and strengthen the bonds with your children. These strategies and activities can be easily incorporated into your daily routines. Read on to learn how to cultivate strong sibling ties!
Hands up if you deal with siblings conflict every. single. day.
You are not alone, my friend.
Over the years, I have become a qualified mediator because I get to practise restoring harmony every day.
This is how I assure myself: as long as my kids show more love than fights, I am doing a great job.
Why siblings conflicts are essential
Sibling conflicts are necessary because they teach children valuable life skills e.g. how to negotiate, communicate, problem solve and compromise.
I subscribe to positive parenting beliefs and view myself as a coach to my children. These conflicts that they experience? They are great opportunities for my kids to learn how to live and interact with other human beings.
I do not resolve conflicts for them, rather, I guide and facilitate their conversations while helping them regulate their emotions.
Do you need to intervene in ALL your children’s feuds?
You step in only when you observe physical and verbal aggression. Then, patiently coach and teach your children conflict resolution skills and connect with each of them.
In today’s post, you will be learning some sibling bonding activities and 5 ways to proactively foster sibling bonding.
5 ways to improve sibling bonding
1. Give daily morning hugs
Start the day right by giving your children snuggles and hugs. When you fill your children’s love bucket before the day starts, it can make a lot of difference in your mood and his. Children will feel more motivated to cooperate with you and with their siblings.
In our house, we do a 3-minute hug each morning before the kids and I get out of bed. They really love the cuddles and closeness, I use these moments to reflect and be thankful for what I have.
When the day ends, reconnect with more hugs!
2. Encourage your children when you see him help another child
“I see that you took a spoon for your brother as well. He must be very thankful!”
“I see you make way for your little sister to wash her hands, that was very thoughtful of you.”
When children feel that their actions get noticed, they receive your attention and feel belonged to the family. This will encourage them to want to help their siblings more.
3. Work in teams
Where possible, engage the entire tribe to work together e.g. household chores, cleaning the toys, putting bags into the car.
It makes children feel that they are significant and making a contribution. They also learn social skills like negotiation and cooperation as they attempt the tasks as a team.
4. Engage siblings to nurture each other
When someone in the family is hurt or sad, make it a family practice for everyone to stop and tend to the injured or unhappy child.
Send a child to get tissue, band-aids, give hugs, etc.
Include older siblings to care for babies by getting diapers, wet wipes, holding milk bottle, etc.
These little actions help your children feel love and be loved.
Assign your children tasks to care for their siblings. For example, getting your older child to help open a packet of biscuits for his young sister or brother, assigning teacher roles to each child on different days.
5. Have heart to heart talks at night
At the end of the day, summarise what happened throughout the day, and get your children to share the best and worst parts of the day.
If the best parts have to do with their siblings, celebrate it.
If the worst parts have to do with their siblings, empathize and problem solve. Clear the air so kids don’t go to bed feeling resentful about each other.
Siblings have an strong, unbreakable bond – let’s help foster it!
It is an uphill task to constantly mediate quarrels, especially when we are so tired from the chores and work. It takes A LOT of patience and self-control to stop yelling when the kids are crying, shouting at one another, screaming, throwing things around.
Remember: you can choose to join in the chaos or calm the storms. Breathe, be mindful of your words and tone and remind yourself that these fights are teaching moments for you to nurture and strengthen that sibling bond.