Siblings are like Tom and Jerry. They can’t live with each other. They can’t do without each other. They fight often but they are also best friends like no one else. They will annoy and tease each other but not let anyone else utter even a single bad word about the other.
However, there are instances when siblings may turn against each other and their relationship may take a turn for worse. Some amount of sibling rivalry is common but when it seems to get out of hand, then it is about time for parental intervention.
Here are some ways to build a positive relationship between siblings:
- Get Them Together
Plan some activities or tasks for siblings where they can spend some time together and bond with each other. It could be a family movie night, a family vacation, playing hide and seek, going on a treasure hunt, doing role play, doing holiday decorations, etc.
- Let Them Nurture Each Other
If one of the siblings falls ill, is hurt or has some issue at school/with friends, let the other sibling rise to the occasion. Let them help you in taking care of the sick sibling or involve them in discussions as to how the other one’s problem can be solved. This will help the siblings understand that they both have each other’s back.
- Don’t Show Favouritism
At times, you may unknowingly or unintentionally show partiality to one child or it may so appear to the other one. Children are more sensitive to such things and take offence easily. Hence, make sure that you treat the siblings equally.
- Stop Comparing
It is a common parenting tendency to say things like ‘see how your sister keeps everything so organized, why can’t you?’ or ‘your brother is so good at academics’. Such statements build resentment in children and lower their self-esteem. They may also start feeling inferior to the other sibling and feel that you love them less. Hence, do not compare the siblings at all. Rather, teach them to appreciate each other’s strengths, weaknesses and differences and respect each other.
- Set Healthy Boundaries
If there is a considerable age gap between siblings, the elder ones might need their personal physical and emotional space and freedom. They might not like the younger sibling tagging along everywhere. Hence, help the elder one set healthy boundaries by explaining to the younger one why the former needs some personal time off on certain occasions. At the same time, tell the elder one to spend some quality time with the younger one.
We hope these tips have been helpful to you.