Remember: how siblings relate to one another is a very important factor in their individual success as adults. That’s why it’s essential that you as their parent (or guardian) help facilitate their good relations with one another. Read on for some essential guidelines:
- Avoid comparing your children. If you’re just looking for one tip to encourage siblings to get along, this is the one thing you should do. Do know that most sibling discord arises from the parents or adults who are comparing them to one another. Avoid the temptation of comparing siblings, not even in a so-called positive way: “You’re more beautiful, and your sister is more talented.” This will not just only breed resentment and jealousy (“But I want to be talented too!”); labeling children might also serve to subliminally limit them as well.
- Know how to model proper behavior. As the adult, you are responsible for setting the standards for relating to one another in the home. You should model respect, self-control, patience, consideration, and kindness in dealing with others. Remember: the key here is to raise your children in a home free of aggression and full of love.
- Teach your kids to do some “time out”. Instead of just telling your kids not to do something (example: Don’t hurt your brother, don’t yell at your sister), you should concentrate on teaching them what they should do. One of the things they can do when they feel angry is to walk away and take some deep breaths. If you feel that your child is quite aggressive, he may need to express his anger in physical ways: give him a child-sized punching bag, and teach him that he is allowed to hit this bag, but never people.
- Have some family bonding time. It’s a good move to create opportunities for your kids to have similar experiences – this could take the form of family vacations, pets, or simply a consistent family time. Do know that commonalities such as similar experiences will give your kids more things to talk about, more inner secrets to share, and more reasons to feel a special affinity towards one another.
- Be fair. Having a set of family house rules that everybody can understand and everybody is aware of will help demonstrate fairness in the household. This will help avoid any feelings that you favor one sibling over another. You should consistently implement these rules and this will also build self-discipline among the children.
- Allot private space for each sibling. As much as possible, it’s good to assign each child their own separate space. Ideally each child should have his own bedroom. If this is not possible, you could give each of them a private nook where they could read or do their favorite hobby. This way, they will have a sense of individuality and will be freer to respect the individuality of their siblings, as well.
Remember, the most important thing when teaching your siblings to get along is to model proper behavior and set the stage for them to relate well with one another. And most importantly, you should teach them very early on so that they would be equipped with the proper behavior and mindset to retain good relationships throughout their lives. Good luck, and hope this helped!