7 Ways To Encourage Sibling Bonding

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READING TIME: 3 min.

sibling bonding

 

Growing up I wish I could say I had the closest relationship with my brothers. I am the middle child of two boys. We just didn’t have the same interest. When I found myself wanting to bond with them, I sought out interest in what they were doing which was mostly playing video games, riding dirt bikes and doing boy stuff. We argued a lot as some siblings do, but then I was exposed to siblings who were close. This is what created a desire in me to have children who truly enjoy and are close with each other.  I want my children to have a bond that goes beyond distance or life experience. When they get older, I want them to know and feel the closeness no matter where each other are in the world and I want them to always root for each other. Sibling competition is hard, draining and useless. It puts such a strain on the family. This is something I am well aware of and want to work at intentionally. 

My kids are 3 and 1 so we are working to instill this value in them NOW. My children truly enjoy being around each other. (Let’s just pray this all goes as well.) Hey, we’re all winging it out here right?
 

Ways to encourage sibling bonding:

  1. Start young. Every child is different but it is important to find ways to show each child that they are important, needed and valued in the family unit. When another child enters, that may take some additional reassurance but I believe it lays the foundation to sibling bonding. 
  2. Let the relationship develop organically. Sometimes when we try to force things it just doesn’t work out. It is like any other relationship, set the stage and let it flow. 
  3. Set the stage. See the beauty in the little moments. It will often happen on its own. For instance, if one child is playing and another wants to play with the first, encourage sharing (for toddler children). For older children, I have heard allowing the siblings to go on sibling dates is a great way to encourage bonding. (It’s sorta like a Daddy/Daughter or Mother/Son date but with siblings.)
  4. Make family time every week a big deal. Let each family member know why it’s a big deal and establish that at a young age. If you haven’t started yet, it’s not too late. When family time is a big deal, then missing it will be a big deal in the future. We often get caught up on our phones, going to this practice or that track meet and before you know it, they’re grown and gone. Cherish this time. 
  5. Take interest in how they compliment each other as siblings. Mention how they can help one another as they grow. Talk about how a strong bond is a valuable thing to have with each other and help them to remember it. 
  6. Encourage them to find a place to bond, such as a park, near a river or even in the backyard. This is definitely for older siblings but this will help them to see each other as a safe place. 
  7. Don’t worry about it too much. While yes, you can be proactive and do things to help this process, don’t stress out. There are a lot of things on our minds, we just need to continue to encourage from afar, be quick to listen, slow to anger and ask God to help us every step of the way.   
Most importantly enjoy watching these beautiful people with their unique personalities become amazing in our big and complex world. We all could use a safe and bonding place. Lastly, for those that only have one child, friendships can form into close bonds such as that of siblings so don’t be discouraged, they too can have that sibling bond. 

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