4 Ways to Foster Sibling Relationships

4 Ways to Foster Sibling Relationships | Baby Chick

4 Ways to Foster Sibling Relationships

Seeing sibling meet-and-greet pictures at the hospital after an online friend adds another to their brood of children is the sweetest. The little chubby hands holding on for dear life to their newest little sibling and the shirts that announce they are “The Best Big Bro” or “Sister” is so sweet.

When we added our second one I was all about planning for that very special moment. But then, you come home from the hospital, seasons change, and all of a sudden you have two children not babies. And then it starts–the fighting. Oh my word, the fighting. How can two children that were birthed from the same person be so incredibly different? And why can’t they be born best friends?! Here are a few ways I think we as moms can help foster sibling relationships that hopefully last a lifetime.

4 Ways to Foster Sibling Relationships

1. Set an example by how you treat them, your spouse, and your family.

These offspring of ours start paying VERY close attention to us and their environment from the moment they are born. Showing them by example that they shouldn’t grab, hit, etc. is the most effective way to teach good behavior.

Of course, they are just kids and will do it anyway. But being an example for your littles even when you think they aren’t watching is important. Whenever one child would like a snack, have them ask their siblings if they would like one too. Then have them hand out the snacks to their siblings before they get theirs, making sure manners are used all the time not just with mom and dad. Little things throughout the day like that are great ways to reinforce the principles that you function under as a family.

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2. Spend time together.

As kids get older and more involved in activities away from home, it is still important to spend the majority of your time together as a family. Maybe that means one child gets to play soccer this season, and the other one gets to play golf in the next. Allowing the siblings to be present at each other’s events, cheering them on, fostering strong sibling relationships.

It’s a solidarity thing and I think it is really important to know that no matter what, your son or daughter can look out into the stands and see that their family is there. Limiting friend time is another way to encourage relationships between siblings, especially if one of the kids is not being nice to the other ones. My philosophy is if you cannot treat your sister nicely, why would I allow you to go to another person’s home? Treating who you live with with respect, even if you don’t always get along, is important.

3. Overly encourage the kindness you see displayed in sibling relationships, organically.

When my boys, who are 14 months apart (Lord help me) are sharing and using their nice words and tones with each other and I happen to stumble upon it, I go out of my way to say “Wow boys! I love that you’re sharing! I love that you guys are best friends.” I take that opportunity to sort of speak into the situation what I want them to notice. My kids are still fairly young, so I will check back in when they are, say, 30 to let you know if any of this stuff worked or not!

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4. Don’t get overly involved.

Lastly, I want to encourage you to let them work it out. Sometimes that means letting them wrestle it out (safely) and it means letting them play together without me involved. I don’t need to hover over them anymore. They are good ages to know what is allowed and what is not and until something is truly out of hand I stay out of it. Send them outside to play, send them to the basement, wherever you find it safe for them to be within eye and ear shot and where you do not have to be so involved. They need to learn to work disagreements out on their own. It is good for them.

Having great sibling relationships is so vital to the overall health of a family. It is comforting as a parent to see your kids grow up to be each other’s supporters, friends, and encouragers. They may not ever be “best friends,” but everyone should grow up feeling like their family has their back, loves them unconditionally, and will call them out when they need it. Planting the seeds of this type of relationship takes work, and thoughtful parenting. It doesn’t just happen. But if you are faithful in pursing the end goal, the harvest will be so sweet.

About the Author /

Hannah Southerland is a stay-at-home mom and wife of two little boys. She blinked and now they are 3 and 4 and taking over her world with karate moves and an endless need for snacks. Over the past 4 years, she’s been researching topics on sleep, baby care, and motherhood, trying to parent the best way she knows how!

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Becoming a new mother, whether it be your first baby or your sixth, is filled with so many emotions. 🎢 Figuring out your new normal can take a minute as you recover from giving birth and get to know your new baby. People will be at your doorstep in no time wanting to congratulate you and meet your baby, but sometimes people aren't necessarily thinking about what they can do for YOU to be helpful. If you know someone who has recently had a baby or if you are currently expecting, today’s podcast episode is for you! ❤️ {Link in bio!}⁠
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Going to keep it real here, your fitness game is going to change after having kids. If you were crushing it before having babies, you're going to find that the free time for working out isn't what is used to be.⁠
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Regardless of where you were at, there are things you can do to make your heath a priority and be a good example to your little ones.⁠
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1. Don't rush back. There's no gold star here. Take your time, get the clearance from your OB/midwife and start when you're ready.⁠
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2. Schedule your workouts. Like most things in life now, you're on a schedule. Create time in your new life for you -- you'll thank yourself later.⁠
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3. Ask for Help. Chances are high that the Mom down the street is looking for some kid free time as well. You take an hour, she takes an hour and we're all better off for it.⁠
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4.  Embrace the little things. Your day will present opportunities to get your butt moving. Find them.⁠
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5. Get a new outfit. Because, duh.⁠
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6. Join a fitness community. It's scientifically proven that external motivators work when it comes to starting and sticking with a fitness routine. Utilize your community for support and motivation.⁠
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When you meet your baby(ies) and your whole world changes. 💕
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Speak your partner's love language in postpartum. Send this resource to your loved one so that they can make you feel loved and supported in a meaningful way.⁠
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We substituted sour cream in these recipes with @stonyfield YoBaby yogurt because it provides not only the calcium they need, but also probiotics, protein and vitamin D! 👍 (Our pediatrician says our little guy needs 2-4 servings of dairy per day!) The yogurt still has that tangy flavor that you’re looking for but with even more benefits! Cheers to full tummies and happy families! 🙌 #ad #stonyfield
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