How To Encourage Sibling Bonding In Young Children?
The sibling relationship is the most significant and enduring one. It is one of the most memorable in one’s life as it has an important role in shaping up one’s personality. Even though parents are considered accountable for molding or shaping up a kid’s personality but they are much more predisposed to their brothers or sisters attitude and mannerisms. The sibling attachments can be full or warmth or love and simultaneously could have fondness or some degree of irritation as well. It is often seen that some siblings become the best of friends but rarely enemies. However, whatever be the case, what is missing in today’s time, is the sibling bonding as all young children want to be tuned to their own lives, gadgets, likes and dislikes. So let’s do a brief study to see how we should be encouraging sibling coalition and make a positive impact on young children. Though we cannot ascertain the future, if we instill some ground family rules in the kids it will definitely help in nurturing a happy and resilient bond.
Tips To Encourage Sibling Bonding In Young Children
Few tips that can help in fostering the sibling bond are enumerated as below:
Family Time: It is of utmost importance that children adhere to family time and understand the importance of their families which also helps them in valuing their sibling counterparts. It is important for the young children to bond with other family members, play together when the family plays together as it allows the kids to set role models to play a fair game and leads to a harmonious relationship. Even though parents cannot be a part of the game always as they have their own set of responsibility, or when kids grow up, they want their own time, but if the spadework is done earlier, it makes the kids habitual to play with each other.
Family time is prime for a healthy development of a child and also boosts and encourages them to understand the value and importance of their siblings. As has been rightly said by Jeffrey Kluger – “There may be no relationship, that’s closer, finer, harder, sweeter, happier, sadder, more filled with joy or fraught with woe, than the relationship we have with our brothers and sisters.” (Source)
Affirmative and Optimistic Parenting Styles For parents, all the kids are same. Yet we tend to shout, yell or get a little violent with the elder one expecting him to be more understanding than the younger one, which almost damages the self-respect or esteem of the child. In retrospect of which the older child often replicate the parent’s style and harasses or bullies the younger one. Efforts should thus be made to reinforce positive and affirmative styles of parenting leading to a healthy parent-child relationship and also propounds respect for the sibling relationship and puts the siblings in high reverence as they have less competition with each other and understand each other
Cut down sibling rivalry by boosting one’s dignity: In order to encourage sibling bonding, it is of utmost importance that comparison of kids intentionally or unintentionally is stopped. High time, the child needs to be heard or understood. The concept of sibling rivalry is triggered more when the mother or father praise one kid on any accomplishment leading the other kid to a complex.
The kids need to be happy and proud of themselves than the parents telling them.Since every kid is different, their accomplishments will be different and could be also in varied spheres, it is important to give equal attention to both kids, understand their point of view and promote their healthy relationship by setting positive examples of each so that they instill confidence and respect for each other. It is also vital to portray healthy behavior for which we need to stop naming the child as “good or bad”. Foster closeness by playing affection games like pillow fight, soft wrestling so that both the kids get time with each other and parents as well
The chart below shows all the steps we should take in order to build the bond between the siblings. (Source)
Sharing and handling equal responsibility: For the siblings to respect each other and bond well, the parents need to head equal responsibility to both so that they both feel a sense of achievement. An elder sibling will obviously cater more owing to the age and other strengths but the younger one can do small jobs, that ways both of them will respect each other and will look forward to each other’s cooperation in finishing any task related to the family. It is not important to see how much one works but more important is to see that they both are contributing together to something.
Sometimes, we need to offer the elder sibling to take care of the younger one with full affection and attend to the younger one’s needs.That ways they role model as a second parent and reciprocate more and make an effort to offer solutions to the younger one’s needs than looking at parents for little or small need. In return of which the younger one also starts looking at the elder one for help and support if in need other than parents.Also talking with love, interacting with the child, listening and understanding child, following a set regime, inculcating cultural values. All of these and more go hand in hand to encourage sibling bonding as the kids understand what is important for one is actually for all, and they all are one. Below is a table which talks about the parenting styles and their outcomes.
Thus, we can say that sibling bonding is very crucial for the development of young children. It is extremely important to strengthen the roots of sibling bonding in the early stages to relish its fruit later. The initial stages are the delicate phases which if not handled with proper care and caution can lead to sibling rivalry and hatred in the later days of life. Let togetherness inculcate from the start and be an enduring and consistent for years to come.