While growing up, my siblings and I
had a pretty solid sibling bond. Our parents always encouraged us to
spend quality time with one another to create a special connection. That
encouragement has led to us to have a wonderful relationship with one
another as adults and we couldn’t be closer.
Now that I’m a mom, I hope to nurture that same kind of relationship between my own children. Fortunately, with the assistance of my husband and I, our kids do have a strong sibling bond. They enjoy spending time together and show support and affection for one another. This is definitely a family goal worth pursuing. Here are a few ways to encourage your kids to bond so they’ll have a strong relationship that will last a lifetime.
1. Provide opportunities for them to have significant experiences together.
When people share experiences, it helps form a bond between them. That’s why family vacations are so important. They will always have those special memories they shared with their siblings and no one else. The hiking trips, building sand castles together, are more than to just get away, they’re building relationships.
2. Tell your kids about your own sibling relationships.
My husband and I have shared many childhood memories with our own siblings and our kids love to hear them. Whatever favorite memories you have with your own siblings, share them with your kids to remind them how special and important family is.
3. Encourage your kids to nurture each other.
If your older son is good at softball and your little one is just starting to learn the game, encourage him to teach his little brother some basic skills. When kids engage in nurturing their siblings, they develop a sense of investment in one another and a shared pride when their sibling succeeds in something.
4. Help your kids develop shared interests.
When you notice a shared interest between two or more of your kids, encourage them to share that passion with one another. Two of my daughters share a passion for dance, so we enrolled them in the same dance class, and now they enjoy helping each other develop this skill. When siblings share interests, they’re able to build a deeper connection.
5. Encourage your kids to have compassion for one another.
Your children may have the kindest heart when it comes to other people, but may not see the struggles of their own siblings. As your kids mature, have candid one-on-one conversations about how they can show compassion to their siblings. If one of your kids is shy and introverted, remind your kid who’s outgoing to help their sibling feel a part of things. If one of your kids struggles with academics, have your child that’s a strong student help his sibling where he can. Help your kids see one another as people with feelings and strengths and weaknesses and to treat each other with kindness.