Building sibling relationships can be really difficult. As much as we would love to force our kids to like each other, it doesn't always work that way.
Siblings have an uncanny ability to truly annoy one another without even doing anything. They can break out in a fight with one look or one touch. They can let a friend do something but if a sibling does it? Watch out.
Short fuses, endless barbs, unfair comments, mean actions... as moms we know the many ways our kids can get into trouble together.
Once kids start school, make friends, join sports, get a job, drive themselves to events... once they start to grow up, they spend more and more time away from home. And away from each other.
Because they are apart so much, having them together can be hard.
For homeschooling families, you might have the opposite problem. Your kids spend so MUCH time together that they struggle to get along.
Building sibling relationships can be challenging for all families.
Moms, I'm here today to tell you to relax, take a deep breath and give yourself the space to evaluate your kids' relationships with each other.
If your kids have trouble getting along... it's normal.
If they have a hard time relating to each other... it's normal.
If they annoy each other and drive you nuts in the process... normal.
Relational issues between siblings is a normal part of family life. It is a natural part of growing up, learning to get along with others, exercising self-control and building character strengths. It is about holding your tongue, saying sorry, extending forgiveness and so much more.
Sibling relationships are the building blocks for your kid's future friendships at school and in the work place. And they aren't going to get it right all the time.
So yes... it is normal for siblings to have issues with each other.
But that is no excuse to let it continue.
Moms, we have the tough job of helping our kids build relationships with each other.
They might not be best friends for their whole lives or maybe they will... that isn't really the point.
The point is are we pushing through and giving our kids the tools they need to build relationships with each other? Are we enabling them and giving them the time they need to learn to live together and figure out ways to get along? Are we giving them the skills to problem solve, peace-keep and value family relationships? Are we showing them and demonstrating what it means to work hard at having healthy conversations together?
It is so easy to let them plug in to their music or video games instead of encouraging them to spend time together. It is easy to have friends over to distract them from being around each other. It is tempting to let them hang in their rooms so you don't have to hear them squabble over the TV or the Wii or whatever else they might fight about that day.
Here are a few reasons it is worth it to build sibling relationships... some reasons it is worth it to invest in your kids' relationships with each other.
1. They need each other. Other friends will come and go but siblings are family forever.
2. They will value family one day. And if they have regrets in their sibling relationships it will only make it harder to have adult friendships with each other.
3. They have shared memories. Vacations, home towns, family get togethers... sometimes a sibling is the only one who shares those things.
4. They will make big decisions together in later years. Family estates, family holidays, family health, family plans... they need to have a strong foundation to be able to handle these things together.
5. They only grow up once. They only have a few short years to spend together.
Siblings are special. They hold special places in the lives of their family members. Whether they realize it now or not. And we as moms can do a lot while they are young to teach them to appreciate each other and get along in peaceful ways.
How do you help kids learn these things? How do you get them to understand the importance of having strong sibling relationships? We will talk about that next week!
For now, what are reasons you want your kids to have strong sibling relationships? Why is it worth it for you?
Fun on the journey,