Today – How to encourage sibling love
Sibling love and why it matters
Be nice to your siblings, they’re your best link to your past and the most likely to stay with you in the future. – Baz Lurhmann ( writer and director)
Our spouses arrive comparatively late in our lives; our parents eventually leave us. Our siblings may be the only people we’ll ever know who truly qualify as partners for life.”
Kluger, The New Science of Siblings (July 10, 2006), TIME Magazine.
Siblings relationships matter – now and in the future and sibling love is important to foster
Good sibling relationships increase the happiness of the whole family and calm the home! Sibling love is definitely worth encouraging
During recent days your kids will have spent an intense amount of time together and they may well have had more than their usual disagreements. Here are some tip on how to help siblings get along – to make life more pleasant for us all!
You may also like a look at my post on siblings without rivalry for more top tips.
According to Wikipedia a sibling is one of two or more individuals having one or both parents in common – however, for the purpose of this article, it is all about 2 or more kids living together in the same home.
Why siblings sometimes struggle to get along
Getting along with siblings can be really tough for two reasons
1) They have no choice but to share things: toys, choices, attention, time, their parents
2) They haven’t chosen their siblings, so unlike friends, if they don’t get on with them they are pretty they are still much stuck with them, at least until they leave home.
No, no not really!
Sibling love is awesome – siblings can be the biggest, cheerleaders and allies and they could well end up being each other’s best friends
Why we need to encourage sibling love – The science bit
Research has discovered that by the time children are 11, they have devoted about 33% of their free time to their siblings – more time than they spend with friends, parents, teachers or even by themselves-
Scientists believe that it is the relationships with our siblings that really form us – so it’s really important to try and help your kids have a good relationship!
How to help sibling love flourish – 7 top tips
- Encourage them to support each other – have one help them with their homework, show them how to get a ball in a hoop or crochet, The older child will more naturally be the shower but try and reverse this regularly and have the younger one show them how to build a great den for example.
- Encourage them to do fun things together – like board games ( put them on the same team and make it a game of luck rather than skill so the older child doesn’t get frustrated) baking is another nice thing to have siblings do together assigning jobs to each. Their joint pride in their creation will be bonding.
- Encourage them to empathise – help them to try and understand how it feels to be older/younger/missing that one best friend and encourage them to give them some TLC in the form of hugs /cards etc. It goes a long way does empathy and some kids need showing how to express it.
- Encourage communication – Use meal times to encourage siblings to share what’s going on in their lives ( you too) so don’t take just each other for granted or ignore each other.
- Insist they respect each other’s space. Make it explicitly clear they don’t read their sibling’s diary, wear their clothes or use their toothbrush. Respecting each others space is all about respecting each other.
- Encourage them to appreciate their difference – they might have been raised the same and share you as parents but they are absolutely individual. Encourage them to appreciate their differences to each other and value them, rather than being annoyed by them. Explain to them that after all, it wouldn’t be great if they both wanted the last peanut butter cookie would it!
A key thing to teach your child is this ….. in all relationships, you normally get what you give so they need to try being a fabulous sibling and show some sibling love and just see what happens
sibling love make a parents heart sing
How to help siblings get along – Some activities that help sibling love blossom
- Get your kids comfy with a pile of family photos and encourage them to look at and remember all the fun times they have had together. There is a relationship to cherish, sometimes they just need to be reminded of that You may want to sit with your sibling whilst you do this and relive some precious moments and memories, with them alongside.
- Send them on a timed scavenger hunt but working together against you or the clock rather than on opposite teams.
- Have them build a den together
- Encourage them to put together a care package or an older relative working together on what to put inside
- Help them to plant some seeds together, or some little vegetable bulbs, gardening si so soothing and watching their creations flourish will be a joint delight
- Form a family band and all of you play a part
- Have them draw up a list of 10 things they really like about each other in secret then leave it on each others pillow
How to help siblings get along when they really aren’t feeling the sibling love
Is sibling love a bit scarce in your home right now and is sibling fighting occurring?
One thing that seems to really work when siblings are fighting is to ask them together (once you have heard their versions of the problem) is to say what can solve this, what can make things better? Encouraging them to be solution focussed t rather than dwelling on and repeating their issue is a skill for life and really helpful in all their relationships. have a go I think you might be surprised how well this works (but do always let them have a little vent first!)
If your kids really aren’t showing much sibling love and really getting along this might reassure you…
‘One of the greatest gifts of the sibling tie is that while warmth grows over time, the conflicts often fade’ – Jeffrey Kluger
So just hang in there. In the long run, this will probably be a happy and supportive relationship.
Taking a break from sibling love
Even if your kids completely adore each other – they will need time apart.
We don’t all get along all the time and sometimes we really REALLY need a break from each other. Kids are the same, siblings especially.
Much as you would like them to play nicely together and have lots of bonding time, that actually, like all of us, kids need time alone and siblings need time apart. Make sure this is factored where possible into each and every day. Kids also need time alone with their parents so they feel separate, special and individual. Putting a chosen movie on for one, whilst you play cards with the other can work really well – especially if planned in advance, with time equally alloted and agreed by everyone!
Further reading around sibling love and children’s emotional wellbeing
2 books I have co-written look at relationships and ways in which they can be made happier and more peaceful. Both have lots of activities to help younger children and teens getting along well with others and boost their own happiness
Create Your Own Happy is a happiness boosting activity book for ages 7-12
Be Happy Be You is a teenage happiness boosting book filled with science, activities and inspirational quotes
I hope you have found this article on how to encourage sibling love useful you might also like my posts on
Quotes about sibling love to share with your kids
Having lots of siblings is like having built-in best friends.
Not always eye to eye, but always heart to heart.
Family: where life begins and love never ends.
Because of you, I will always have a friend.
A sister is someone, who loves you from the heart. No matter how much you argue, you cannot be drawn apart.
“Help your brother’s boat across, and your own will reach the shore.” – Hindu Proverb
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Tell me about your kids – do they find sibling love easy? And what about you? how did you get on with your sibling?