All parents want their children to enjoy each other’s company, to support each other, and to remain close as they grow into teenagers and adults. The secret is to pay attention to the goal of creating a strong, lasting friendship while they are still young, and for you, as the parents, to nurture those connections. Below find suggestions to help build the relationships between siblings.
Find a passionate hobby or interest that they share
Perhaps your children love watching professional soccer matches or Marvel TV shows. Or maybe they both share a passion for Harry Potter or dinosaurs. Foster those mutual interests by creating opportunities for the siblings to share and while you’re at it, show your enthusiasm as well.
Enable them to have some time away from each other
Sometimes too much togetherness causes problems as well. When your children get a break from each other, spend time with friends, or even have the chance to enjoy some alone time, they value each other’s company even more when they reconnect. This gives them a chance to explore their own interests and friendships, while developing their own individual personalities and strengths.
Don’t step in to mediate their fights
Although they’re loud and uncomfortable to hear, sibling squabbles help children learn how to negotiate conflicts and manage outcomes. If they pull you into their argument, be sure to allow them each to express their own side and then let them know that you trust that they can come up with a fair solution by themselves. The bonus here is that by staying out of the exchange they won’t be able to accuse you of playing favorites!
Focus their energy into activities that help them connect
As a parent, guide your children towards activities that play to the strength of both siblings. Suggest activities that lend themselves towards duo teamwork whereby both children have equal decision making and input. Building a Lego village, planting a vegetable garden, and baking cookies involve cooperation, build partnership skills and they are a lot of fun!
Team up for chores as well
Assign tasks that your children can do together such as raking leaves, washing the car, or doing the dishes. Working together as duo enhances a spirit of cooperation and frankly, the chores are a lot more fun when you have a partner!
Create memories with family traditions
Weekly game nights, summertime yard sales, Fourth of July cook-outs, and New Year’s Day hikes are not only super fun, but they make great memories that your children will carry with them into adulthood and leave them with ties that bind them together. Create activities and experiences that your family can look forward to annually.
Create memories with family vacations
When you take your children away from their normal routines, you’ll find that they focus on and enjoy each other’s company all the more. Your vacations don’t have to be expensive either. You can put together a camping trip, a museum adventure, a road trip to visit far away family, a day in the mountains or at the shore. These escapades are bound to build great memories and fun stories to share.
Give these suggestions a try and develop other ideas of your own as well. Your efforts will result in big dividends for your children and for the whole family too.