How to Encourage Healthy Sibling Relationships


The kids are at it again, huh? Sibling rivalry gets the best of families at times – no matter what age. While this issue may never be 100% avoidable, there are plenty of gems to be taught. Teaching your kids how to get along at an early age plays an important role in how he or she will grow up with their bro or sis.

Funny story – my mom told me once that when my sister and I would argue as kids, she would sit us in two chairs facing one another. She’d have us stare at each other until one of us smiled or laughed. Then we’d run off and go play. I mean… not very traditional but hey, it worked for her! We hope that some of these tips will work for you:

#1: Prepare your first born for baby. You are not the only one who needs to be prepped, mama! Make sure your kiddo is just as involved as everyone else. Have him touch your belly and feel the kicks. Talk about his “little brother or sister” often. You may even want to go down memory lane and show them photos of themselves as babies. This can all prepare them for what’s to come.

#2: When the new baby is born, make sure you are giving equal attention to both – maybe even more to your first born. If he feels like he has taken a back seat, chances are he will lash out or have a grudge against his little bro or sis.

#3: Give the older sibling responsibility. Let it be known that the oldest child is to watch over and protect their younger sibling(s). If they have a sense of purpose and responsibility, they are much more likely to live up to it. You want them to not only motivate and inspire the younger one, but to set a good example.

#4: Do not compare. It’s important that you never compare one child to the next, especially if it is going to hurt one’s feelings. This may only create negative feelings between the two.

#5: Never take sides. Much like you shouldn’t compare, you should also remain as in the middle as possible. Unless something is clearly wrong and right, you should listen to both of your kid’s side of the story and empathize equally.

#6: Teach your children that they are each other’s best friend. There’s no other friend like your brothers or sisters. My mom would constantly tell us that no matter how many friends in life we had, no one would ever compare to my brother or sister. Guess what – it’s true!

Sibling squabbles will happen – a lot. As long as you start a solid foundation between your kiddos, squabbles will eventually simmer and they will build a lifelong relationship and special friendship.

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