Siblings are the building blocks and the key members in family dynamics. They play the role of companions, confidantes, and combatants in each other’s life. Sibling relationships are varied on the basis of factors such as child characteristics, behavioral norms and values, hence siblings can have direct impacts on one another’s life as a social partner and role model. So basically, there are two subjects to be considered i.e. factors that shape sibling relationship qualities and a sibling’s influence on one another’s development.
Parents can help nurture good relationships between siblings and reduce the conflict and rivalry between them. They can help by giving them tasks that encourage teamwork. Even if kids don’t have any similarity and affection among each other, parents can do many things to make their bond strong and encourage the relationship between them which will hopefully be lifelong.
So here are some of the tips to improve the sibling relationship
1. No comparison
The first and foremost advice for parents is not to say things like, “Why don’t you study as well as your brother/sister does?” Comparison between them is a sure-fire way to fuel sibling rivalry and build indignation.
2. Parents should figure out what’s the reason behind siblings’ conflicts
There are many things that parents can notice about kids and figure out the reason behind their quarrels such as: Do the kids tend to fight when one of the parent is trying to get the other’s attention? Are they competing for parents’ time and attention, or do they fight when they are just getting tired or bored?
Once parents understand the reason behind this, they should try to minimize that particular issue and spend one on one time with each child.
3. Siblings should appreciate the differences between them
Many a times among siblings, there is a child who loves a quiet environment and likes to read books while the other one likes nothing but loud noises, hilarious and disturbing activities. So when kids contradict in their interests and temperaments, conflicts can naturally occur.
Here the main responsibility comes upon the parents that they should teach their children how to respect and appreciate the differences between them. Parents could set up a system where they can work together to plan how to take turns or find other common interests that can amuse both siblings.
4. Parents should team up the kids for chores
Parents should engage their kids in exercises and activities that encourage working together. They can work on a project or assist each other with chores. Parents can give a number of tasks and activities to the kids such as painting a spare room, cleaning out the garage, or helping prepare dinner.
5. Build their listening skills
Respect is a necessity to build good relationships, whether it’s between friends, partners, or siblings. Parents should teach their children that they should treat others the way they want to be treated – with kindness and concern for their feelings.
Respect can include talking to each other in a gentle tone, not putting down a sibling’s opinions, and being mindful of someone else’s space and belongings. Parents must also teach them how to disagree respectfully because it is possible that people who love each other can disagree sometimes; it is just a fact of life.
6. Time for enjoyment
Families that have fun together are less likely to have quarrels. Parents can choose such activities that can be enjoyed by the whole family such as watching movies for kids, riding bikes, etc.