Raising civil siblings isn’t something you try, it’s something you commit to do–day after day after day. It’s certainly not the easiest path to travel but it’s definitely, the one that’s worth it. – How to Raise Siblings that Actually Like Each Other, November 14
Siblings that Like Each Other? Yes. It’s Possible
Welcome back!! In the last installment of how the heck do I get my kids to like each other, we learned that while every family has a unique make up, there are some pretty easy things that parents can do to foster a better relationship between siblings. And by easy, I mean it’s not rocket science; but it does require some elbow grease, tenacity and a willingness to ask AND answer tough questions about your parenting style. The only constant is change; but the only path to truth is honesty.
Let’s jump right in and learn about the things we can do to help our children create positive, meaningful relationships with their siblings.
R.E.S.P.E.C.T. It’s not just a song
Unlike most jobs, parenting is a 25-hour/8-day a week job. This means on any given day, it’s easy for us to be tired, burnt out, feel overwhelmed, frustrated or angry. What are you driving at Selena? Ever make an honest mistake and then have someone royally ream you out for it…in front of others? Didn’t feel too good afterward, did ya? Well, think about the cute little whirlwind you just snapped at for yelling or screaming, only to find out they actually hurt themselves or had something important to say? It happens…to all of us. Respect is something our children learn from US! You snapped at one of them unjustly? Apologize. Did you shout at one child in front of the others? Apologize in front of the others. If you don’t respect them, how can you expect them to respect their siblings?
Families that play together
Repeat after me: I will never get too old or be too busy to play with my kids. Parents: that needs to be your mantra. Kids express themselves and learn about life through play. If your little one is scared of monsters under the bed, get you a sword (light sabers or paper towel rolls work too) and fight those things to the death! Are they pretending to drive in NASCAR? Grab a frisbee or plastic plate, sit along side and vrrroooom your way to the finish line. If you do it with them, they’re so much likely to do with their siblings. Better yet, invite them all to play a game that the entire family can share in. Them vs. you. You’ll be surprised at how much they actually love to beat you at something. Yes, dads, that does mean you may have to let them win. (wink)
It’s all about ME
When my teens were little they shared a room. They were already so close, I didn’t have the heart to separate them. There was one thing I insisted on, they have their ME time. And ME time is? ME time is just what it sounds like a time that’s all about your child. They play what they want, how they want and they don’t have to share…a thing…ever. The more ME time I gave the duo, the more they began playing with each other. And if one tried to violate the other’s ME time, I stepped in right away. Teaching our kids to honor boundaries does wonders for helping them honor each other’s.
Well there you have it, 6 steps on how to raise your children to like their siblings. If you missed the first part, read it here. As I said, it’s not rocket science. It certainly isn’t an easy road to travel; but it’s definitely, absolutely, worth traveling.
How do you help or raise your kids to like each other? Share your tips in the comments.
5 thoughts on “Raising Civil Siblings – Yes, It’s Possible.”
Wow! This is such great and practical advice; thank you!
Thanks Elissa! Always a joy when you visit!
Fantastic, helpful post! I’m happy to have found your blog.
One question: can you expand a tiny bit on ME time? Is this playtime between one child and you, or when they’re playing together but don’t have to share, etc…I’m, clearly, not quite clear. 🙂 Thanks!
Thanks so much! And I’d be delighted to expand. In this instance ME time is just for each individual child. He or she gets to have that time just for them–no siblings, parents or friends, just them and their imagination. During this time, they don’t have to share with anyone nor do they have to play with anyone. The time is theirs to spend alone doing whatever floats their boat, within reason. Kids love to have something they can legitimately claim as “MINE.” Putting this in place made such a huge difference for my duo and brought them closer together because they knew they’d have time just to themselves.
Hope this helps. Thanks so much for visiting!