Encouraging Sibling Harmony
It’s up to you to help your children get along and one way to do this is to help them see the various positives and roles that a sibling can play. Here are six sibling relationships to try and facilitate.
The Helper: One way to help an older child establish a relationship with a younger sibling is to ask them to help out. This can give them a sense of purpose.
The Comforter: Help develop empathy in your siblings by teaching them to comfort one another when they are hurt or sad. For example, if your younger child needs a Band-Aid, encourage your older child to help put the bandage on.
The Teacher: Another option for your older child is to give her the role of the ‘teacher’ to the younger sibling. Encourage your eldest to pass on her wisdom, such as how to hold a spoon, how to play Snakes & Ladders or how to look both ways when crossing the road.
The Co-Workers: Give your children jobs that they need to work together to accomplish. This can give them a taste of the importance of teamwork and a sense of achievement.
The Partners-in-Crime: This sounds awful, but often my kids will get along the best when they are up to something naughty. For example, when they are quietly playing together, it’s usually because they are painting the walls, or piling boxes in the pantry to get to the bickies. While you don’t want to promote bad behaviour, you can use this relationship to help them work together of less mischievous activities.
The Joker: Humour is the best medicine when it comes to conflict. Let your child’s entertainer side come out and encourage him to make his sibling laugh and smile, rather than cry.