10 Ways To Encourage Sibling Bonding Among Your Children
Having multiple children is a blessing but there are also challenges in it. Every parent wants their children to get along with each other. ...
1. Teach Respect
Respecting another human being is the essence of a peaceful life. When you don't respect someone you start treating them badly and hence a feeling of resentment is present in their mind. Kids should be taught how to respect everyone. Fostering respect as a parenting goal will feed into sibling relationships.
2. Model Positive Sibling Relationships
It's no secret that kids will start modeling the behavior of those around them. If you have a very negative relationship with your own siblings, they might never understand the value of their own bond with their siblings. If you have a very loving and a positive relationship with your siblings, your kids will also model that kind of behavior.
3. Use Positive Parenting Techniques
Negative parenting practices like yelling and punishing can be detrimental to a child's well-being. It only suppresses a behavior but won't really change anything in the long run. Negative parenting practices can also lead older children to imitate these behaviors and bully their younger siblings. Practicing positive parenting techniques fosters a healthy parent-child relationship as well as a respectful sibling relationship and high self-esteem.
4. Respect Possessions
When you force your kids to share their favorite things, it can undermine their feeling of security and cause them to resent their sibling. Unless your kids give their toys themselves to their siblings, you shouldn't force them to do it. Your kids already have to share your attention with their siblings, sharing their things will only make them feel more competitive.
5. Include Everyone
Sometimes parents can be more loving towards the eldest or the youngest child and leave the middle child out, or something similar to this happens where parents show affection towards one but not the other. This is one of the major reasons why the sibling bond can turn into a competition for affection. Don't leave anyone out and love them equally. For example, if you see two of your kids playing happily together, try to check on the third to see if this would be a good time to spend time alone with him or her.
6. Common Interests
Try to help your children develop shared interests. When two people have a common interest, the potential for a long lasting relationship is high. For example, they can take dance classes together because they love dancing. This will help them to build a deep connection with each other and in addition to that, they will have great memories.
7. Create Family Traditions
When you have family traditions such as pizza night every Saturday or a movie night, a feeling of unity rises. These kinds of activities create memories and a shared history that help create lasting bonds. This encourages communication as it will be that time of the week where everyone can sit together and talk about their life. This avoids any feeling of loneliness and each member has someone to talk to about their issues and achievements.
8. Foster Teamwork
Since siblings often compete for your affection, try to put them in situations where they can become partners. When your toddler needs help in something, direct him/her to their older sibling who can help them. This will encourage your toddler to trust his/her sibling and the older sibling would feel capable and important. Another thing you can do is try to see if your kids can clean up their toys together before dinner. This will make them feel as if they are part of a team together instead of competitors.
9. Family Before Friends
Sometimes, kids tend to ignore their siblings when they find a new friend. This will make the siblings feel unwanted. Although there is no problem in having best friends, ignoring your siblings because of your friends can be a major problem. Children should be taught from a very young age that family comes first. Friendships are wonderful, but family relationships are lifelong and deserve to be nurtured.
10. Honour Their Individuality
With all the teamwork and unity, don't forget that each individual is different, kids have their own personality and interests. Just because you want to be fair to your kids doesn't mean you should treat them exactly the same. A toddler and an older sibling have different developmental abilities, needs, and wants. You should respect that and treat them in that manner which suits them.
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