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Once we hear the word siblings, I am sure your mind went a mile a minute thinking about love and unloving relationships. I myself am one of six and have two children. Throughout the years, I’ve learned a few techniques for great sibling support. These tips and strategies have helped me with my children as well as my own siblings. I have learned to help siblings spread more kindness and fight less. These helpful tips are for parents who are looking for some guidance. Here are 5 tips and strategies on supporting sibling connection for parents and busy families. I do my best to use these tips every day! I hope you find them helpful <3

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As parents, we know…

  • How important it is to do our best to help siblings love each other. There are times we might wonder, how in the world will I make this happen? Below, I will give you some tips on what has helped me tremendously. Tip number #4 is so dear to my heart!
    • Tip #1 Be sure to talk about the negative as well as positive feelings. Doing so will build love and a strong bond between you and your children.
    • Tip #2 Spend one-on-one time with your loves doing something they enjoy. Giving each child their own precious time shows them that you still have time for them.
    • Tip #3 Model and teach your children how to play with one another. This is very important because this will help build their love for each other by doing activities together.
    • Tip #4 Don’t force siblings to spend time with their brother or sister. We all want siblings to get along, but please do your best to give them a choice or figure out how they want to spend their time together.
    • Tip #5 Let them learn how to problem-solve on their own. Of course, if they are yelling at each other, step in and provide them with the language to vocalize what they want. Once you feel comfortable, step back, and watch the sibling love unfold.

Stop comparing your children

  • I’ve done it and I am sure you have done it as well, but do your best to not compare your children to each other and other children. This is basically setting them up for sibling rivalry.
  • We as parents may think we are motivating our love when we say, “can you please listen and put your shoes on just like your brother did?”
  • To a child, those are not motivating words. They are most likely hearing “my brother is better than me,” which is not great for building their self-esteem and self-independence.
  • I’ll never forget the day my 5-year-old daughter told me she is her own person, she and her brother are two persons. Guess what? She is right!
  • Please do your best to communicate with each sibling in ways that work for them. Remember we are all different in our own special way!

Why does sibling misunderstanding happen?

  • We all know siblings go back and forth from loving each other one minute to yelling, fighting, and/or crying the next minute. As parents, we sometimes feel frustrated when we don’t have the right tools to solve the issue. One thing that I have learned is to see it from all perspectives.
    • Think about a moment your precious loves are playing together. The oldest has many great ideas on how she wants to play and use her toys. She didn’t have to share her favorite toys with anyone before The New Small Person came along. Now she has a brother who truly adores her and wants to be part of her world.
      • So he becomes curious about the amazing things that capture her attention. Then guess what? big sister gets upset because her baby brother messed her idea up by knocking over the tower she worked so hard on.
      • Think for a minute about how frustrating that is. You worked so hard on something so precious then it gets ruined.
    • During the moments of anger and sadness, she has towards her brother, I discretely step in by sitting on the floor with them.
    • If it looks like it may start to get out of control, I ask my oldest to use her words to talk about what happened.
    • While talking to them, I help her see that her brother loves her so much and he is trying to connect with her.
    • Also, I ask questions like, “do you think he would like some block too?” She typically gives him some then they sometimes end up playing together.
    • If she doesn’t want to share, I respect that and find something else for her baby brother to play with.
    • A question that I ask her that always gets her wheels turning is “do you care more about the object or your brother?” I ask her this because I teach her that objects are replaceable while human beings are not.
  • I know siblings getting along is not always sunshine and roses. If we as parents want them to get along, let’s do our best to communicate the problem. I believe talking about it will be very rewarding for the whole family as well as encouraging siblings to support each other.
  • Also, we are giving them the tools to problem solve and enjoy moments together.
  • Sibling rivalry may happen because they may not have the skills to talk to each other about the problem. We should do our best to provide them with those skills.

Best Products to Overcome Sibling Misunderstanding

  • These mega blocks are so great! When they play together, they are very engaged and let their imagination run wild! This fantastic product always brings them together and promotes them to work together.
  • I have seen many children, including my own, enjoy magnetic tiles. What makes them so neat is that they can create endless amounts of things with these.
  • This tunnel is a double whammy, it builds children’s gross motor skills while chasing each other through it as well as having fun while playing “crawl chase” in the words of my daughter.
  • One of our many favorite books God’s Dream is a very nice story about children working through their difference.
  • My children love to sing and dance, this amazing karaoke microphone gives them the opportunity to take turns singing together while having a blast. I even join along sometimes 🙂
  • The New Small Person is one of my daughter’s favorite books! This book is a great bibliotherapy story that sums up siblings in a nutshell.
  • When my children play with Window blocks together, they have so much fun (along with some disagreements), while working together and communicating out loud or in silence.
  • My children enjoy reading the book, All Better especially when they have a boo-boo.

Teeth Are Not for Biting

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Hands Are Not for Hitting

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These two books are very essential to my 5-year-old and my 1-year-old. Whenever one of them hits or bites, we pull out these books to learn and reeducate. We get reminders on things we can do with our hands and teeth instead of hitting and biting.

The last things we should know about supporting siblings…

  • Our children need guidance from us to provide them with the skills to help themselves. Parenting siblings have many challenges, but when we put our mind and heart to it, we will raise resilient, problem-solving, disciplined, and loving siblings.
  • How do you handle siblings who don’t get along? Please share your tips and strategies by leaving a comment.
  • As you may know, sharing is caring! If you know anyone who will benefit from this article, please share it with them. <3

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