09 Mar GUEST POST: Essential Guide to Creating A Good Relationship Between Siblings
Happy Thursday! How has your week been? Mine has been good. We’re slowly adjusting from my parents leaving last week; however, the weekend has been tough because on top of taking care of the kids, that’s when we need to grocery shop and do the laundry. I woke up last Monday with a sore body, the kind you get from working out. Lol! Also, I am not excited about this weekend’s time change. I always have a hard time adjusting to Daylight Saving Time; so if you don’t hear from me for a week, you know why!
Today’s guest author is Zara Lewis. Zara is a mom, fitness & yoga enthusiast and a regular writer for High Style Life. She is devoted to implementing healthy life habits in every aspect of life of her family and friends. She loves to share her parenting tips and is always open to learning some new skills, because she sees her parenthood as going to school forever. She enjoys traveling, hiking, cycling and baking. She is going to share with us how to create a good relationship between siblings.
If you asked me who my closest friend is, I would say – without a moment of hesitation – that it’s my sister. Growing up with someone and sharing history together – both the good times and the bad – is a great basis for a lifelong close relationship. But the relationship between siblings doesn’t always turn out like that. It is largely up to us, the parents, to encourage closeness between siblings. Just how do you build a strong bond, regardless of the age or gender? Here are some ways that work.
Lead By Example
It is a well-known fact that children learn primarily by imitating the models of behavior they see in their immediate vicinity – most notably the parents. It is not surprising, therefore, that they are very likely to model their relationships after yours. Nurture your own relationships with your family members. Even if you don’t have any family, or your relationship with them is beyond repair, you can still give a positive example. Be kind and loyal to others, support your loved ones, and resolve conflict in a civilized manner. When you talk about your own family and siblings, do so in a positive and loving manner.
Don’t Pit Your Children Against Each Other
Positive parenting is the way to go. Negative parenting practices – like harsh criticism or draconian punishments – can create an atmosphere of rivalry and jealousy between siblings. When they are under stress and afraid of the consequences for their actions, children might adopt tattling as a way to avoid their parents’ anger – even if that means throwing their brother or sister under the bus. Not to mention that this kind of strict behavior provides an unhealthy role model. It’s not rare that kids from very strict families behave in a similar manner – which might lead to the oldest sibling bullying the others. Instead, let your children stand as a united front. Encourage them to share their things. For instance, since my children are quite close in age, I don’t always buy two of everything – things that can reasonably be shared are shared in our household. It saves money, storage space, and teaches the children not to be selfish, but also not to place too much value on material things. Kids can share responsibilities too: they can do more difficult chores together.
Share Quality Family Time
There’s nothing like quality family time to create a sense of togetherness and belonging. Make sure you consistently set aside a certain amount of time to spend together as a family. Of course, mealtimes are important – but that’s just not enough. Do fun stuff together – maybe you can designate a night of the week to play board games, or spend every Saturday morning cycling and hiking; maybe the first Sunday of the month is a picnic day, or you can take up a sport you can play with your family. Whatever you decide, it’s important you do it regularly, and you all enjoy it. In my family, we have a new obsession – the segway board. Ever since we got one for my son’s birthday, we’ve all been crazy about them, and it’s a super fun activity we enjoy together on the weekends.
Be Careful With Conflict
Fighting between siblings is an everyday occurrence, but that doesn’t make it any less tricky. The crucial thing is to model peaceful conflict resolution for your children. In time, they will adopt the view that fighting is not a viable solution. Have faith in them – as often as possible let them try to work it out on their own. It’s absolutely unnecessary for you to get involved every single time. If you have to mediate, try to be as fair as possible – really listen to what happened instead of jumping to conclusions. It’s okay to allow for some time apart too. Just like grown-ups, children sometimes need some time for themselves.
The most important thing when it comes to kids is to find the right balance between love and freedom. Be there to gently guide them, to mediate and encourage positive feelings and activities when necessary. However, it’s just as important to know when it’s time to step back and let them solve problems, negotiate, and bond on their own.
In Zara‘s free time, aka “me-time”, she enjoys reading books, practicing yoga and socializing with her friends. However, she only gets the feeling of completeness when she spends some time with her family. They’re in love with various outdoors activities, such as hiking or cycling, so they often spend their weekends somewhere away from the crowded city and urban society. You can also connect with her through Twitter.
When Zara reached out to me with this topic, fostering a good relationship between siblings, I had to say yes immediately. As a mom of 2 kids, this is something I am absolutely interested about. My husband and I do our best to make sure our kids get along really well; and we want to make sure that we start as early as now in helping to establish a good relationship between them. And these tips that she has shared with us would really help us ensure that.
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We hope that you liked this post and found it helpful. What did you think of the tips listed here? How do you ensure good relationship between your kids? Let me know in the comments. You know I always love to hear from you.