How To Foster Healthy Relationships Between Siblings
As a parent, a major challenge that you can face is ensuring that your kids are getting along. Sometimes, you can feel like all you’re doing is stopping your children from fighting. Consider putting the time and energy into helping your children build positive relationships with each other.
The relationship that siblings share with each other is one of the most enduring relationships of their life. However, that doesn’t mean that things will always be smooth between your children. Sometimes, children bicker with each other, and this can even escalate into physical fights. While there is nothing wrong with allowing your children to have a few small arguments, you should know when to step in to prevent things from escalating.
Is Conflict Among Siblings Normal?
Anyone who has a sibling has probably fought with their sibling at least once in their life. Fights between siblings are absolutely normal, and to a certain extent, can even be healthy for the children. As a parent, your main aim should be ensuring that your children don’t fight so much that it can be considered unhealthy.
Sibling conflict is fine to a certain point. But beyond that, they should be encouraged to get along with each other.
Tips On Fostering Healthy Relationships Between Siblings
Sibling relationships are important, and siblings can act as support for each other. If you work on actively fostering healthy relationships between your children, then this can help them for years to come. They’ll have someone they trust that they can rely on, even through difficult times.
But how can you help your children build healthy relationships?
1. Assess Their Conflict
Anytime you find your kids arguing, try to assess how severe it is. If the conflict is only mild, then there is no reason for you to get involved. This provides your children with the space to try to solve their conflicts by themselves. However, if you notice that the fight is getting out of hand, then it’s time for you to intervene.
This especially applies to situations that escalate into physical violence. Don’t allow your children to hit each other.
2. Setup Bonding Times
It’s not unusual for siblings to not want to spend time together. This is where their parents can step in and encourage them to bond. Ask your kids to spend time together at a certain time each week. You could choose a weeknight as a special night for your children to spend time together.
Maybe you can start a movie night for just the kids, or manage a scavenger hunt for them. You can also use bibliotherapy to help your children learn all about sibling conflict. They’ll also learn how they can get along with their siblings better, through the book.
3. Prioritizing Quality Time
Designate time that you can spend with your children, together as well as individually. When you give your children the attention they need from you individually, then you can in turn inspire them to learn what makes family relationships healthy. Using this information, they can then build positive relationships with their siblings as well.
This helps reduce sibling rivalry as well. You might also notice that your kids respect the quality time you devote to them, and look forward to it.
4. Enforcing Equitable Rules
Life isn’t fair, and sometimes, children can learn this at a young age. In real life, things aren’t always fair, and teaching children that life is fair can be a hurdle for them later. This is as in life, your children will likely have vastly different experiences and will grow into very different people.
No two children are the same, and while they are developing, they will have different needs. The rules and expectations you have of your children should vary from child to child. Think about the strengths and weaknesses of each child, before deciding on which rules you want them to follow. This helps in setting them up for success.
5. Setting Healthy Boundaries
Your children should know from early on in their lives, what their social, emotional, and physical boundaries are. Should you find one of your children taking their teasing to a new level, this is the time to intervene. This way, your kids know that if they cross the line, you’ll step in.
Your children should have safe personal spaces, both emotionally as well as physically. If you find that your kids aren’t in control of themselves, then you’ll need to separate them.
When you foster healthy relationships between your children at the outset, then this can help them later on in life. They’ll know that they have not just your support, but also the support of their siblings. Use this guide to learn all about how to build good relationships between siblings.