How are the sibling relationships in your house? Are your children’s actions those of friends or enemies? Do the words they use with one another convey love or contempt? Sibling relationships span the gamut, love to apathy. The target is love.
Every parent longs for love and kindness to prevail in the family. Good relationships create a more harmonious atmosphere in the home, provide a safe place for kids to land in times of success and crisis, and lead to long-lasting friendships for years to come. Few other relationships span a child’s entire life than the immediate family.
How can parents encourage kids to be friends, not foes? Here are seven ideas to help you hit the target to promote congeniality and love in your home.
1. Remind your kids often they are each other’s best friends. When children see each other as friends, not just siblings, they act the part. Not too many friends go on vacations together, share daily meals together, and live in the same home.
2. Compliment in private. This cuts down on comparison, competition and rivalry between children. It’s human nature to hear a compliment to another and take it as a personal affront. And a benefit is a special one-on-one time to make the individual child feel special. Kids won’t compete for compliments if the statements aren’t made publically
3. Encourage collaboration. Assign chores and projects to a pair or team of kids. Getting children to work together promotes teamwork, cooperation, and a sense of accomplishment when the job is done.
4. Build family traditions. Instigate traditions that are unique to your family. The shared memories will be treasured
5. Instruct and model how to solve problems. When a conflict arises, use calm conflict resolution techniques to help children resolve the issue. Build empathy into the equation. Allow the children to take ownership of solving their disputes rather than the parents always acting as referees.
6. Build trust. When children see their parents serving and protecting the family, they learn to do the same. Be trustworthy and expect trustworthiness from your childre
7. Love unconditionally. Forgive and be forgiven. Don’t play favorites. Choose love no matter what is said or done. You don’t have to like the child, behavior, or words spoken to love the child. Great love comes through training a child to act appropriately and respectfully.
May your children become the best of friends! Knowing each is deeply loved, respected, and part of a family who cares for each other will create a home filled with kindness and congeniality. And the legacy of friendship will benefit the family for years to come
Becky Danielson, M.Ed., has two of the best job descriptions, wife and mom. She is also a licensed Parent & Family Educator, co-founder of 1 Corinthians 13 Parenting, and the co-author of Raising Little Kids with Big Love and Raising Big Kids with Supernatural Love along with Study Guides. The series is available on Amazon. Becky and her family live in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. Subscribe to the parenting newsletter at FaithFirstParent.com and the quarterly newsletter at 1Corinthians13Parenting.com for parenting tips, strategies, and resources to equip and encourage you on your parenting journey.