Last week, we talked about why it is important for your children to build sibling relationships.
Today, for Family Friday, we want to talk about the how's.
How do you help your kids build relationships with each other?
Moms... we all know there is no easy answer to this. We know that helping our kids get along is one of the toughest jobs we have each day. Some days it feels like they will never even be kind in the simplest ways let alone enjoy being together.
As we talked about last week, it is normal for siblings to struggle relationally. It is normal for many reasons. But that doesn't mean we don't do our best to help them, to instruct them, to give them the tools they need to get a long.
To not only get along but to have thriving sibling relationships.
How do you help them?
1. Spend family time together doing fun things. Honestly, the sooner you begin this, the more natural it will feel. A family game night, a family activity, cooking a meal together, building a project together... find something your kids like and do it together! Just spending time with your family, everyone together, will help you see areas your kids need to work on to get along. It will also give them the time they need to experience life together and learn ways to become friends with their siblings.
2. Watch your kids play and interact. Whether they are getting a long or not, you can quietly observe them and discover a lot about your kids personalities, tendencies, weaknesses and ways of relating with other people. Use the info you glean from watching them to help you guide them individually in ways they can grow.
3. Parent ahead. When you know your kids well enough, you can know what upsets an upcoming event or activity or family time could cause and you can parent through them before it happens.
4. Make sure your family has an open policy! We don't allow locked doors or slammed doors or running off to pout. All of these things separate and break down family relationships. If they need time to cool off, that's fine... but do it calmly and come back to make it right quickly.
5. Family Devotions and Prayer. This is precious time when your kids are vulnerable to correction and a time when their hearts are soft towards each other. Let the Holy Spirit do His thing in their lives as they study God's Word and pray together. Bedtime is the perfect time for this because the events of the day are ready and waiting on their minds.
6. Find things they have in common. Do 2 of your kids love the same things? Are your kids all in love with one thing right now? Use that! Give them time to do the things they love together!
7. Encourage respect and self-control. These two things alone can greatly effect sibling relationships.
8. Walk a mile in their sibling's shoes... this concept helps your kids feel compassion and empathy for each other.
9. The Golden Rule principle... doing unto others what you would want done to you!
10. Talk, talk, talk. Family communication is key! Do your kids understand each other? Do they know how to talk to each other? Do they take the time to explain themselves and be understood by their siblings?
There are 10 simple and practical things you can begin applying right now to help family/sibling relationships grow.
What are some things that you do in your family to help your kids build relationships with each other?
Joy on the journey,