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Sometimes, children need a little help in forming a positive sibling relationship. What can parents do to ensure their children grow closer and fonder with each other?

Blood is thicker than water, a sentiment that has permeated people’s minds for centuries. It reflects how family should always come first before any other relationships, as blood weighs heavier than water. However, the saying’s more authentic version has recently caught the public’s attention and sparked a more profound conversation about familial relationships.

Instead of the shorter “blood is thicker than water, the saying is now more popularized as “blood of the covenant is thicker than the water of the womb.” This shifts the perspective, emphasizing that relationships intentionally made by people are more important than family.

Why is this so?

Understanding Family Dynamics

Simply because they’re family doesn’t mean they automatically complement and work well together. Proximity doesn’t always foster positive familial relationships. Often, the people around each other regularly can’t understand and empathize no matter the situation. This is precisely why some families aren’t as close or affectionate as others.

It’s the parent’s responsibility to ensure their families don’t pull back from one another, encouraging healthy connections and practicing pursuits that bring them closer. This is especially important for siblings, who can compete not only for attention but also for affection and affirmation.

Within families, siblings often have rocky and distant relationships. This can be attributed to several other factors, but most especially because they have different connections they nurture and may prioritize above their kin. While siblings spend more time together, they’re also exposed to more situations that spark possible discord. The notion that families are always harmonious is a misnomer.

Conflicts come and go, especially among siblings. Hence, it’s crucial that parents know how to foster a positive sibling relationship.

The Sweet Positive Sibling Relationship to Nurture

Like any other connection, a positive sibling relationship is something to work hard for. Parents can’t expect their children to work well with each other and be congenial just because they’re siblings.

While shaped from the same womb and fueled by the same blood, siblings are still separate individuals. They will have differences and in order to form close, genuine bonds, opportunities must be created.

Here’s what parents can do to help their children build a positive sibling relationship:

Create Bonding Activities

Expose them to activities that maximize their strengths and teamwork. This can be as simple as asking them to do house chores or playtime activities that match their interests and strengths.

Multiple children’s materials reflect the importance of bonding moments between siblings. A perfect example is The Dinglehopper Blueberry Belly-Button Snooter, a story about two young sisters by Cochrane. The book follows their journey to discovering who has been doing their chores for them, and while the journey is one of fantasy, it can still resonate with siblings who spend time together. What Olivia and Caroline are doing is an example of what fosters a positive sibling relationship.

They not only share a goal but also have fun achieving it.

Encourage Nurturing Capacities

It’s not every day that siblings hear their parents ask them to care for each other. The lack of verbal reminders may lead to passive interactions and less intentional gestures when they meet. Remember, children base their behaviors on what the adults around them are saying. When they’re frequently reminded to care and have each other’s back wherever they are, children will ultimately get the message of how they should interact with each other.

Verbal reminders may be simple. They can end up being routine, with little intention other than being grounded in habit. However, what children are exposed to daily can help shape their behaviors.

Promote Family Activities

To create a positive sibling relationship, activities shouldn’t just ultimately revolve around them. Instead, they should also include the whole family. Family bonding helps bring everyone closer, cultivating a sense of genuine connection with each other.

When siblings commonly compete with each other, allowing them to have fun activities will help them move away from this rivalry. Throughout these games, they must work together to ensure they’re a team rather than rivals. Instead of going after one another, they can team up against the other family members. It’s a way to bring them closer and a fun time for everyone else.

Avoid Comparisons

Often, parents subconsciously create a rivalry between siblings. When they compare their children with each other, they nurture the idea that they must vie for affection. Parents must avoid instilling within their children the idea that they compete against each other. This is a surefire way to build resentment among them, not toward their parents but with one another.

When reprimanding their children, they must avoid statements that compare the siblings with each other.

Open Discussions With Each Other

There’s no better way to foster a solid and positive sibling relationship than through emotional vulnerability. When parents teach their children to be open with one another, they nurture a genuine connection. The more they’re open with their feelings and thoughts, the more they will understand each other better. Such discussions will help them acknowledge each other as separate but likewise, similar individuals who think and feel the way they do.

EQ plays a massive role in forging connections with each other. When building a positive sibling relationship, parents must lead their children to be more understanding and empathetic.

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