While some siblings become best of friends from a young age, many siblings can’t seem to stop fighting like cats and dogs. They just can’t stand each other. Here are some tips that can help them to connect.
This has mostly been attributed to differences in personalities and failing to appreciate each other. In some cases it is simply a fight for attention and in most cases, having a parent favor one child over the other(s). But how much do they lose with this sibling rivalry and what can a parent do to solve the problem?
We can have all the friends we want in life, but having a loving sibling gives a heartwarming feeling one can ever experience. People can fight with their friends or wake up one day and decide they do not want to talk to each other ever again. Friends come and go. But, a family is the best gift in the world. Even if fights are sometimes inevitable, mentally healthy people will always have space for their siblings in their hearts no matter what. It is something they can never wash off their system even if they wanted to.
Siblings are the type of people who can love you, forgive you, and look out for you even when they sometimes feel you do not deserve it. They can make sacrifices for you. They might even be all you have at some point, something we all need to consider before messing up our relationships with them.
On top of that, having blood connections of that nature gives one security. If siblings cultivated good relationships, they could even make the best business partners and support systems.
As much as the children themselves need to learn to work on their relationships on their own, nothing compares to sibling love resulting from a parent’s love, care, and teaching. Wherever the children go, they will never forget their parents’ contributions in who they become and it challenges them to be better parents themselves. The good things parents teach and the love they show are some of the most valuable memories children remain with after the parent is gone. It can create the strongest bond between siblings which will never be broken. Some forever remain with the question; “if mum were here, how would she have wanted me to treat my brother or sister?”
Below are some of the things parents need to keep in mind as they try and build the right connection between siblings.
- Stop comparing your children. This makes the other child feel inadequate and that they have failed the parent. It can make the “better” child have the “I’m better” attitude. The other child’s confidence may be destroyed. Where a child feels he or she is not loved, they tend to create boundaries and withdraw from the rest of the family. They feel the need to look out for themselves and not depend on anyone. In some cases, the child may look for love and acceptance from friends. Instead of comparing the children, teach them that it is okay to be different as it is what completes us as human beings. Feed the children positivity all the time and help them understand the fact that having things happen for them at different times and in different ways does not make one more important than the other. That way it is easier for you as the parent to become their “common ground” where they could not find one on their own.
- Give equal attention and love in the best way possible. Giving your children equal attention does not mean doing the same things for them at the same time. It means prioritizing them individually, taking similar interests in who they are, and what they do especially where they want you involved. It is also important that you teach them to care about each other’s business as well and to help or partake where necessary. This way, taking care of each other will become something they feel the need to do naturally.
- Avoid ever discussing one child’s weakness with another in their presence or absence, meaning, don’t do it. Such things make it easier for siblings to disrespect each other. It develops in them the tendency to look for the bad in another person rather than the good. This further makes it hard for the children to accept each other as weaknesses are highlighted more than their strength. It makes it easier to find reasons to hate each other. “After all, mum thinks you are a problem.”
- Avoid celebrating the successes of one child in a manner that demeans the other. When parents are happy, they tend to do and say things they shouldn’t. In celebrating the children’s successes, do not make it seem like you are proud of one of them more than the other. It should not make the other feel like they are not doing enough, which can start a competition leading to them disliking each other. Of course, whereas a parent you see a potential for a child to do better, it is best to help them improve. It is not wise to use the other child’s successes as a way to motivate the one that you think is not doing well.
- Do not let one child get away with things the other wouldn’t get away with. This reflects what some refer to as favoritism. Children must be disciplined the same way. Just like the above mentioned, disciplining them differently creates tension between the siblings.
Spoiling the children too much or failing to create the right bond between them has chances of haunting the parents in the future. Where the children turn out too different and were taught not to love and respect one another, one is most likely to suffer the consequences.