We often hear about ‘Sibling Rivalry’ but what about ‘Sibling Friendship’! How do you help or encourage your children to like each other and to become great friends as adults?
I have been asked this question numerous times. I can honestly say our daughters are best friends. They still argue (mostly over clothes), get cranky with each other, sometimes drive each other crazy but they are each other’s biggest supporter. This was reflected today. Ruby is making a film clip (my words) or as they say a music video, of one of her songs. Eloise was one of Ruby’s support people (along with some other gorgeous ones) so this morning Eloise was up at 5:30am, made her breakfast and left at 6:15 to do a coffee run for the others. Now that’s sisterly love. And what I love about our girls’ relationship is that if the roles were reversed Ruby would be supporting her sister in exactly the same way.
So how did this come about…………simple!!
I brainwashed my children from an early age.
This probably is not the right way of doing things and I have absolutely no training in raising children, but it seems to have worked for me.
How did I go about this?
Well it helped that my sister (and brother) are my great friends. So I demonstrated the love for a sibling by saying things like:
Oh great Louise (my sister) is coming over today. I’m so excited. I love her so much.
I can’t wait to see her. She’s my best friend.
This was when they were under 5 so in their little minds, if you had a sister she must be your best friend. (It also helps that my sister is one of the nicest people I know, so it was never hard loving and caring for her when we were growing up).
Or as they were growing up I’d say things like:
She is your best friend. Oh she loves you so much.
I always made sure if one was away I would speak well of her in her absence. And I’d say “I wonder what she is doing, I bet she is missing you”.
It’s about making sure they are valued and not ever being compared to each other, but highlighting their individual gifts and strengths.
Our children did a lot of fun stuff and activities together. They used to arrange concerts with the other kids in the street, we often went on bike rides, picnics and bush walks. They spent a great deal of time with each other and as a family unit.
I always made them realise if they were being unfair to each, and tried not to side in arguments.
So I suppose it’s a lot of little things or bits and pieces along the way that helps establish a loving bond between siblings.
My brother and sister are still my close friends and we agree whenever we get together with my mum, her partner and all the cousins it is one of our favourite things to do. It just works. Sometimes you can find just the three of us sitting and having a good old laugh – we seem to have the same sense of humour and laugh at things no one else would. That’s sibling friendship!
And when Eloise was going to the Philippines when she was 16 with school for a mission’s trip, Ruby insisted on coming to the airport to say goodbye, even though that meant getting up at 6am after her school formal. That’s sibling friendship!
Let me know your experiences of encouraging your children to get along. Have a lovely weekend.
Love Chris ♥