With COVID-19 and social distancing measures, many of us are spending more time at home with the family than ever! Read on for some tips on how to promote sibling relationships and family bonding.
A sister or a brother is often your first, and often the best friend you’ll ever have. Whether you’re best buddies or nearly sworn enemies, there’s no relationship quite like it! After all, what else can replace the sibling bond? Even though this dynamic can sometimes be a struggle, especially during days of quarantine, there are things you can do to strengthen these relationships. Be sure to share your tips for sibling bonds on your favorite family app!
How Important Are Sibling Relationships?
While friends come into our lives at different times for different reasons, a sibling goes through everything with us. They know where we came from and how we became who we are, and they share memories of childhood. Though not all of us will be able to have a good sibling relationship, it can stand the test of time!
What Kind of Impact Does a Sibling Relationship Have?
There are a number of ways that sibling relationship psychology can impact our development and adult life. Share your own experiences on FamilyApp with other siblings!
- Mentorship – When a child is the older sibling, they will be able to test out leadership and conflict resolution skills. Because they’ve been there before, they can help with language development, social interactions, and creating sibling bonds. The younger sibling will be able to look up to the older one as a role model.
- Bullying – Unfortunately, sibling relationship difficulties can have strong negative effects if they are dysfunctional. If there are issues between siblings, there can be bullying that leads to depression, substance abuse, and even violence. A disruptive sibling relationship should improve by mid-adolescence, so it’s important to observe how it develops over time. If you notice bullying or excessive criticism amongst your children, be sure to step in and encourage kindness and respect. Remind your kids that your family is a team, and you all need to stick together and encourage one another.
How Do You Get Siblings to Bond?
Sibling rivalry can be a natural part of the development of your children, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t many different ways to encourage family bonding.
- Celebrate Differences – It’s important to value each child for their unique traits. ensure that they are not compared to their sibling and are given credit for their own strengths. Sibling relationship activities can help them share things they both love. Often activities where they can collaborate together, like building a Lego tower, can foster a sense of unity more than activities where they’re competing against one another.
- Give Them Individual Attention – There will be times in life where you can’t give both of your kids the same amount of attention. However, you can ensure that their growth is nurtured and they both know they’re important. Planning individual dates with each of your children where you do a one-on-one activity together can help each of them feel loved and respected.
- Let Them Fight Their Own Battles – A sibling relationship breakdown won’t be fixed more quickly if parents choose sides. While you may want to get involved if things get too emotional, let them resolve their own conflicts whenever possible. There may be times the parent needs to step in, such as in the case of excessive bullying, but most of the time, let siblings work it out.
- Encourage Good Behavior– Fostering good habits in your children starts with encouragement and consistency. If they know that being a good sibling is important, they’ll make more of an effort to get along.
There’s No Friend Like a Sister or Brother
It’s quite common to take sibling relationships for granted, but they can be an important part of our development. Whether it’s learning empathy or developing leadership skills, this bond can have a long-term impact on life! Do you have any stories to share about the importance of sibling relationships? Tell us about them in our comments! Not everyone’s going to have a good relationship with their sibling, but the possibility exists of a meaningful, lifelong relationship!