There is nothing more fulfilling than for parents to see their children live together in unity and the bond between them stronger than ever, even after leaving the house as students, married or just living by themselves. But that is not the case in so many families. I’ve seen loads of siblings that are now sworn enemies resulting from sibling rivalries. This breaks my heart and I do not wish this for my girl’s or other families. Yet there are some enviable siblings out there too. Even though I have a cordial and peaceful relationship with my siblings,I can’t but crave and wish for more because I have seen some siblings do way better and I really do wish that for my girls. I’m however glad they are getting it right already, because while they argue, I cannot remember settling any fight yet. Oh how this gladden my heart.
How can siblings be truly close and live together in unity? I’m not referring to the parasitic kind of closeness where you do not remember you have a brother or sister except you need something from them, I’m talking about deep-rooted kind of love for each other that surpasses our need or wants from each other. Which brings us to what can be done to make sure our young kids grow up to be each other’s keeper, particularly sister’s.
DO NOT HAVE A FAVORITE CHILD.
Parents, avoid choosing a favorite child among your children and even if you must, please intentionally avoid making it obvious to the others. this is my number one sibling rivalry instigator. The other siblings are watching and most times festering resentment towards the special child. remember the story of Joseph and his brother’s in the bible? Please do all within your power to love all your children equally. Most times we have that one challenging child that always goes against the rules or just plain defiant. When you recognize you have such a child, Pray without relenting and love unconditionally because love always wins at the end of it all. Do not show love to one or some of your children to the extent that it is very obvious for others to see because this does not foster unity but separation and causes them to drift apart.
TEACH THEM WHAT SIBLINGS DO.
A lot of times we assume that our children should know some certain things. One of which is thinking the love for a sibling should come naturally. While some may do, please take it upon yourself to teach your children what you want to see them do and model such behavior through your relationship with your spouses. Don’t live with the assumption that they will definitely grow to love one another. Tell them deep truths about what siblings do; siblings love each other (give real instances), they watch out for each other, they show empathy and so much more.
LET THEM SHARE A ROOM
Encourage your kids to share a room at least till they leave your house. Sharing a room fosters unity, helps them to settle their differences, teaches them to share, helps them to communicate and truly get to know their likes and dislikes. My first two daughter’s have always shared a room since they were born and this has really helped their relationship to grow into what it is today. And the two little ones are learning nothing but positive behavior from them.
TEACH THEM HOW TO HAVE EACH OTHER’S BACK
A lot of siblings have or share some common friends. And most times this is another avenue where rivalry can erupt. When the eldest decides to take sides against the oldest of a common friend or the real owner of the friend becomes jealous of the budding closeness between the sibling and the friend, bitterness and resentment fetters. You can avoid these by teaching your children how to handle their common friendships with care and not to allow anything to come in between them, not even friends. Friends will always come and go, but family will always stay.
CAPTURE MEMORIES AND REFLECT ON THEM LATER
Capture your children’s memories through pictures, videos, framed art works and others. Then choose days to show them and talk about those memories. It is always fun and a day to look forward to. After you do this, let them share ideas on what they look forward to doing together. One of my favorite memories with my siblings is the times we played board games together, particularly Scrabble and monopoly. I’m looking forward to getting my girl’s started on scrabble board game too. Invest in indoor and outdoor games to keep them occupied but having fun. So keep capturing those wonderful memories, cuddle up and laugh over them together.
HELPING ONE ANOTHER
They will come to you at different times seeking one help or the other, instead of helping them, teach to seek each other’s assistance nicely. Sometimes ago my second girl needed help zipping her dress and the eldest was in the room with her. She left her in the room and came to me asking for my help and so I redirected her back to her sister which settled that phase. They only come to me when they have tried and could not handle the situation.
AVOID TAKING SIDES
There will sometimes be arguments or fights among siblings. As much as possible avoid interfering except when it’s taking a longer time to resolve but avoid taking sides if you have to settle the discord. Instead look for lessons the parties involved can all learn so such does not happen again. There’s always a lesson for everyone.
REMIND THEM TO PRAY FOR ONE ANOTHER
Always remind them to pray for each other everyday. Prayer is tool you should equip your children to use effectively. Have them mention those things they do not like in each other to God and he will fix it. Also set apart different days to pray for each of them specifically, mentioning the characters you see in them that are not favorable.
Let brotherly love continue. Hebrews 13:1
What are the system you put in place in your home to help foster long-lasting peace and love? please do share in the comment section below.
48 Responses on this post
I was totally convicted about reminding my girls to pray for one another. Even though they’re VERY young (one is 2 and doesn’t really even know what prayer is), this is such a good reminder!
Thanks Kellie. And your 2 year old daughter is not too young. Just start teaching her now and watch her grow with it.
I love all your posts! My daughter is an only child, but long ago, I had dreamed of encouraging sibling bonding. I think it is very important. People should never assume that siblings will naturally become BFF.
Thanks tnmitch. That means so much to me. Yes we need to work at it.
Beautiful encouraging post. Keep doing what you are doing to spread encouragement to parents. God bless you. Your page is unique.
Thanks Eliza. I appreciate your feedback.
These are some great tips I can practice on my two nieces. Their always arguing about something. And some of these pointers remind me of my sister and my growing up 🙂
Great Adrina. Love to them.
I agree with everything you said. This is very important. Love your site!
Thanks Janet. I appreciate your stopping by.
Such important tips! Love it!
I have two daughters and this is a great reminder. My hope is they will remain great friends through their journey of maturity.
Amen. That’s the point right there. Thanks Racheal.
My daughter is currently an only child, though we really would like have another child. I’ll have to remember these tips if we are ever so lucky as to give our daughter a sibling.
May your heart desires be met. Love to her.
My kids get along about 90% of the time and it is wonderful to see. The other 10% requires a lot of patience and focus.
90% is super fantastic! Even the teeth and the tongue clashes sometimes. They are doing just great.
Great tips! It gives me hope that maybe my kids might actually like each other some day!
Sure Lisa. Keep up the good work.
We remind our boys 4 and 10 that they should and will be supportive of each other. The 4 year old is quick to tell the 10 year old he’s not his best friend when he gets mad. But we pull him to the side and explain why he shouldn’t say this and why his brother will always be his best friend. Great article.
Fantastic Shelanda. Thanks .
My girls recently started sharing the room and it truly has been one of the best things ever. Don’t know why we struggled to make the decision for as long as we did. 🙂
Great Robin. Thanks
The advice you provided for parents will help their children have great relationships!
Ok feel so blessed that my children all have a close relationship. It is so important they have an unbreakable bond!
Very Important Melissa. I’m also happy for you.
As a mother to 2 little girls, these tips will definitely come in handy as they grow! One is 5 months old, so it’s a little young for this yet, but I’m already working to make sure the older one loves on her sister and learns to look out for her!
Great. Thanks for reading.
Great message. I want my kids to grow up to be friends as well as siblings. When my 2 start getting snippy with each other , I always ask them if that’s how they would react to a friend in the same situation.
Great advice for keeping things fair all around! 🙂
Thank you Traci
a great read! so many important points to building a strong relationship!
Loved this post. My kids seems to constantly be arguing or struggling with one another and in conflict. I live that you encourage praying for one another, I am definitely going to have them pray to God about what frustrates them about one another. I also encourage going to one another for help and working on their own conflict resolution between the two of them. Great post!
I’m glad you found this helpful. Thank you Jacqueline.
“Teach them to have each others back” is so true. I always call us the “family team”, and they should protect the family team!
I love that name. Thanks Lori.
Great tips! I’ll have to work on this more with my kids!
Fantastic Lisa. Thanks for stopping by.
You absolutely nailed this topic! My children are grown and everything you said in your post is true. My children have had times where their relationships struggled, but that was mostly from transitioning from one stage of life to another, and because we have employed the things you’ve listed in your post, we have been able to navigate them back to a close relationship. Our biggest rule is this: You get to screw up and expect grace in this house. Always, always, always talk it out. I Love everything about this post 💗
Wow! Awesome Debra. Glad yours are on the same page now.
I loved reading your post! I don’t have any kids yet, but these are great things to remember for the future!
Sure Debra. Thanks for reading.
Good ideas to come back to as we await the arrival of baby #2 to our family!
Fantastic! Thanks for stopping by.
Great information. I really haven’t put that much thought into helping the sibling bond become stronger. Well, outside of telling them that when they are older they will appreciate each other more.