I’m beginning a “Sibling Saturday” series here on the blog; my goal is to share something related to sibling relationships each Saturday. Some posts may contain strategies that work in our home, or even ideas that failed – sometimes just a simple photo or story.
Today’s post will be begin the series with the ‘why’ behind my focus on sibling relationships. Teaching my children to have good relationships with their siblings is one of my most important jobs as a mother. Too often, siblings fall into the habit of giving each other their worst. It bothers me when children are permitted to treat their siblings worse than they would be allowed to treat other peers, acquaintances, or even strangers.
As my children grow into adults, I hope that having built strong trust and friendships at an early age will solidify their bond. In the past, extended families living in close proximity was the norm; these days families often scatter when the children grow up, marry, and take jobs. I hope that a true friendship in childhood will help keep my children’s bonds close even if they eventually live large distances apart.
The way my children treat each other is training ground for the way they will eventually treat the rest of the world. Harsh words, meanness, violence, yelling, and self centeredness are not the qualities that I wish for my children to learn from their sibling relationships. Maintaining good relationships with their siblings will equip them to maintain good relationships in the world.
I am not saying that my children have perfect relationships– we are striving for good relationships. My children are sinners (just like me), certainly they argue and are self-centered often. I am no expert at making siblings friends, but there are several strategies that have been helpful in moving toward true friendships and respectful interaction between my children. I look forward to sharing those tips with you in the coming Saturdays and I hope you will comment and share your experiences and ideas with me!