Strengthening the relationship between your children can be the key to harmony within your home. It’s common and normal for siblings to argue, but there are a range of techniques parents can adopt to encourage siblings to build positive relationships early on and to celebrate each child’s individualism.
Try these four ways to foster positive sibling relationships amongst your children:
1. Encourage communication
Children love sharing their news and achievements with their parents, so use this as an opportunity to encourage your child to engage with their siblings by communicating their news with them too. Providing conversation topics and initiating discussions as a family provides communication points for siblings to engage. This can also include something as simple as encouraging siblings to ask each other how their day was.
2. Engage in activities together
Establish common ground by engaging siblings in activities they can all enjoy together. This could include a bike ride, baking cupcakes together or signing them up for a sport they all enjoy. Perhaps they have a common interest in art or science? Often siblings can share common interest and goals without even realising. Helping to identify these areas can strengthen bonds between your children. Family holidays and outings also provide opportunities for siblings to spend time with and learn about each other.
3. Establish independent activities
It is important siblings have the opportunity to spend one-on-one time with each of their parents, particularly in their younger years. Competing for attention and rivalry can be a common cause for arguments and negative behaviours between siblings. Parents can work to ease these pressures by spending quality time with siblings together and one-on-one, to show there’s no need to compete. Encourage each of your children to explore their own interests and friendships and allow them some independence to experience them without their siblings. It is vital children have the space to develop their own personalities and have their individual traits and needs recognised by their parents.
4. Teach siblings to support each other’s achievements
Parents often strive to treat siblings fairly but this does not mean one child cannot be praised for an achievement, for fear of their siblings feeling inadequate. Just ensure the siblings receive their same ‘moment’ when their time comes. Use these instances to encourage siblings to support and congratulate each other. If one of your children plays soccer each week, encourage siblings to come and watch to show their support. If one child has an annual dance or drama performance, ensure the whole family comes to support. If one child receives an award at school, congratulate them as a family and ensure this becomes the norm by modelling consistent, positive behaviours.
At Trinity Grammar School, we actively encourage our students to grow in wisdom and stature and in favour with God and man, in order that they may become responsible, contributing members of society. We understand the importance of strong relationships and will support your son as he practises and progresses his communication skills.
To learn more about the Trinity difference and why we’re one of Sydney’s leading schools for boys, download our prospectus.