Fostering Positive Sibling Relationships
Most children spend more time interacting with their siblings than with their parents. These relationships can be positive or negative. Know the impacts.
What You Need To Know
Sibling relationships tend to be the most stable and long-lasting ones in people’s lives. Kids learn valuable social skills whether the relationship is positive or negative—most likely, a little of both. Sibling relationships affect the life of the family as a whole.
How You Can Help
Monitor your kids’ relationships and practice common sense ideas to support each of them.
- Special. Make sure that each child has one-on-one time with parents. Even if it’s just ten minutes before bedtime, kids need to relate to their parents without the input, reactions, or other interactions with siblings.
- Together. Find time and activities for the siblings to be together both with parents and as kids with parental supervision. For example, take the family to a trampoline center and let the kids have fun without you jumping, too. Also bring everyone to the beach and build a large family castle as a group.
- Sides. Avoid taking sides in any discussion or conflict. Especially during a fight when one kid asks for help, do not blame another child or subset of kids. Be insistent that conflict is a group thing, and they are all to blame.
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