As the parent of any set of siblings will tell you, this relationship is a complicated and ever-changing issue. One day, your kids might be each other’s best friends. The next day, they could be worst enemies. And they’ll be back to being inseparable the next day. Read on for some tips on encouraging positive relationships between your children.
Let your children know you appreciate it when they treat each other kindly. Say such things as “I like to see you helping your sister with that,” or “Isn’t it great when we all work together?”
Set clear limits about verbal exchanges and physical engagements. For example, you may have household rules that do not allow name-calling and allow for physical activities such as play wrestling only when both children involved are having fun.
Practice staying out of minor bickering and fights. This will help your children learn to resolve conflicts on their own. You can offer advice if you’re asked, but try to keep out unless the situation threatens to become emotionally or physically hurtful.
Set a good example by modeling positive relationships with your own siblings. Point out what you like about your family and let your older children see how you positively resolve conflicts.
Siblings, no matter their age, have a special kind of relationship, and that relationship requires a lot of work to maintain. If you help your kids establish a positive relationship with each other early on, you’ll be laying the foundation for good relations long into the future.
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