Tips to build sibling relationships

March 8, 2018

1. Identify interests- Watch and take note of what activities your children enjoy. There may be an age gap or interest differences, but for instance if she wants to play horses, but he wants to play trains, why not have the train track provide trips to the stables? Maybe paint together or make a performance. Try to encourage at least one shared activity every day.


2. Don’t interrupt- When siblings are playing together happily, don’t take it for granted. Support them in whatever they need to keep playing, and don’t interrupt unless it’s unavoidable.


3. Support- If a child gets hurt, make it a rule for everyone in the family to stop playing and support the child who’s hurt. Include the sibling maybe make them medical assistant, especially if they inflicted the incident. Send them for an ice pack or the first aid kit. This way they will feel like a helper than a hurter.


4.Teamwork- Unite the children and create missions. “Can you work together to tidy up so we can leave the house earlier and pop in the pet shop to see the bunnies. Yes? Great teamwork” You could even have a team name. You could create family activities where they are on the same team like make scavenger hunt or make decorations. They could clean the car to earn the money you might have spent then they could put it towards something they enjoy doing together.


5. Solve conflict- Help your children kids work out problems without making anyone wrong.  Children are still learning how to manage their emotions. So you can expect your children to fight with each other. Teach them healthy conflict resolution skills, like listening, expressing their own needs without attacking the other person, and looking for win-win solutions.


6. Oxytocin activities- These activities involve or increase oxytocin levels such as being outside, dancing, signing and especially laughing. Giving a gift, sharing a meal or even bath time.


7. Bedtime- Saying goodnight to one another in their bedtime routine creates a bond. If the child is older they could always read to the younger child.


8. Sibling book- Make a sibling book and let them decorate it, including pictures of them, drawings of each other, cutting from magazines, things they like and find funny. Include nice gestures, acts of kindness and quotes like “Brothers and Sisters can say things to each other that none else can. Try and date these.


9.Talk about your own siblings- By doing this you are modelling the kind of relationship and emotions you would like them to have towards one another. Be mostly positive but let’s be real there’s negatives with all relationships that might help you and them to relate more.


10.Your bond- The most important factor in helping your children get along is for you to have strong relationships with each child. When each child knows deep down that no matter what their sibling gets, there is more than enough for him. Make special time for each child.

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