The Importance of Siblings Bonding. Hello everyone, I hope you are well. In today’s post, I will be sharing the importance of siblings bonding and a few tips on how parents can nurture it. Healthy family relationships are an essential part of developing as a human. Kids with siblings benefit from having a peer in the household that they can grow up with and rely on.
Numerous studies now show the importance of sibling relationships in determining how children turn out. For example, this piece from the Centre for Global Development found that older sisters play a significant role in their younger siblings’ development. Great interactions foster empathy, social skills, and academic achievement. At the same time, poor interactions result in a higher likelihood of depression, rebellion, and psychosis.
How your children interact with and view each other primarily depends on how you bring them up. Thankfully, there are various ways you can nurture their bond without micromanaging their lives.
The Importance of Siblings Bonding
Encourage Shared Interests
A dynamic and natural way to let your kids bond and enjoy their time together is simply by finding activities they mutually like spending time on. It brings the children together through similar tastes, which helps them have an exciting thing to do or talk about with each other. It can be anything from giving them toys they both like to watching a TV show they both love together (you can see this how to watch TV for free guide to keep your TV costs down). They could even start up hobbies that work well in a group setting.
Things your children can share are a good place to kick this off. So think about games that ask for more than one player. The selection of toys on The Parent Co. can inspire your own choices on what your children can enjoy together. Board games, kits, and blocks are some effective educational ways to help your kids build a rapport together.
Engage Them With Outdoor Activities
Outdoor activities can be a lot of fun and offer a slew of options for the family to engage together. This can hone their physical fitness, confidence, and creativity in a way that naturally engages them. Any family bonding is healthy for kids, and if siblings get to spend time with their parents equally, it can be a big plus. On top of that, research from the Port Biomedical Journal states that playing in nature is essential to a child’s healthy development in a world dominated by sedentary lifestyles.
It’s a manageable group activity to consider, even if you have kids of varied ages. Older kids can easily handle walks, while the younger children can be brought along in a pushchair. If you have two children of a similar age, then a double pushchair is a good option as you can easily engage both in outdoor activities. The double pushchairs featured on iCandy show how tandem models are designed for twins and children of different ages. This makes travelling outside much more convenient for the parents. The younger child can always be facing or nearest the parent (as studies show this increases their ability to bond), while the older can be nature-facing. Despite not being side-by-side, they will see the same sights and have shared the outdoor experience. No matter their age, getting siblings outside together is very healthy for their physical and mental health.
Help Them Navigate Disagreements
Disagreements are natural, especially when living in close quarters. The key is ensuring you manage these, so they don’t become arguments or long-term disputes. It’s crucial to teach your kids how to handle conflict healthily and teach them to do this together. This will also develop their conversational skills, which we’ve mentioned in our article on ‘Why Develop Conversation Skills in Kids & Ideas on How to Do It, as something that will help them learn to express themselves and carry themselves socially.
Please encourage your children to talk things out and explain their side of the argument. Through this method, you can establish the importance of trust and respect amidst all disagreements. This also makes sure that both parties are on the same page. It’s also essential to make sure that you hear out both sides whenever there is a conflict. You don’t want your kids to think they aren’t being listened to, and you also don’t want to display any favouritism that could breed more ill perceptions of each other. Finally, don’t resort to comparisons. This will only create a different divide altogether.
Discourage Sibling Rivalry
As much as healthy competition exists, parents need to be wary of sibling rivalries that start brewing from childhood. If your children feel insecure, not seen, or are constantly compared to one another. This can create a problem that may spill into their adulthood. Make sure you are responsive to each of your children and watch for any signs that they may be holding some destructive power dynamics.
Create an environment where everyone celebrates each person’s successes and supports them when they fail. Celebrate each child’s efforts and individuality. It also comes down to finding a balance that fosters cooperation while allowing each child to have their own space and freedom.
Allow Them To Be Individuals
Just as important as it is for them to come together, kids need to have their sense of self. If you lump them into one unit too much, they might feel trapped, conform to every habit their other siblings have or start acting out to establish their own identity.
In an article by psychology lecturers from the UK, the child’s sense of self starts developing at two. Toddlers begin to reflect on how they are viewed, especially when they hit three years old. The memories they start developing — and how their individuality is subsequently affected during these years— will start taking root in their minds even as the actual memories themselves fade out with age.
The best part of having siblings you get along with is the reliable support system where you know you can be loved and accepted. You can give your children that happy and long-lasting connection with these tips.
I hope you enjoyed that.