Whenever my siblings and I fought growing up, our mother would always remind us of one thing: one day, she and our dad would be gone and we would only have each other. Yes, we’d have our friends and maybe spouses, too, but the bond of sharing a childhood will always hold something different. Their children having a close relationship, especially as adults, is a mother’s dream. The question is, how do you achieve this?
Siblings Who Support One Another: A Mother’s Dream
Having close relationships with your siblings is awesome. Your siblings are your first friends – the people with whom you spend most of your first few years of life with. You have so many shared memories and experiences together and understand one another in a way that even a best friend can’t. A mother’s dream is that her children have this close, supportive, and loving relationship. Unfortunately, when she is in the midst of breaking up the third fight that day, that dream might seem impossible.
6 Ways To Cultivate Supportive, Positive Sibling Relationships
Thankfully, parents can do plenty of things to help cultivate a bond between their children that will grow into strong adult relationships. This is how to make a mother’s dream a reality and help your children get along and actually love and care for one another.
1. Never Compare Your Kids
Comparison is the thief of joy, and this is quite apparent when it comes to sibling relationships. Each of your children is unique. They will not be good at the same things, and one child might be more difficult to raise than another. It is crucial that you never – under any circumstances – compare them. This only pits them against each other and increases sibling rivalry, which is the enemy of support and friendship. (1)
2. Look For Patterns
Pay attention to your children while they are interacting and try to determine which scenarios usually end in a fight. Perhaps they fight when they feel they are being ignored, either by you or one another. Perhaps one child continuously does one behavior that really gets under the other’s skin. Maybe it’s simply when they are tired or hungry. Either way, when you have identified these, you can minimize fights. (1)
3. Encourage Fun
Your kids aren’t going to share all the same interests, but likely they will at least share a few. Promote doing these activities together and encourage having fun together. These will build happy memories and associate sibling time with fun and happiness. (2) When your kids are having fun and playing together, let it keep happening. Even if they’re being silly, you’re exhausted, and you are finding it getting on your nerves – let them continue.