Raising Siblings To Love Each Other

Raising siblings to love each other is very possible. It isn’t without its challenges but I promise you it is worth the effort. I remember the struggle when my older children were younger, and the normal sibling rivalry started. It wasn’t the way I wanted my children to grow up, so I decided right then that I was going to work to create an atmosphere where sibling love was part of the dynamics of our home.

Raising Siblings to Love Each Other - With a few tips, it is very possible. | www.joyinthehome.com

Raising Siblings To Love Each Other

I grew up in a home where I was the youngest by 5 years, until my baby sister was born when I was 12.

Our family was normal by family standards. You know sibling fights, one sibling stealing your holiday candy, another one using you as a punching bag, and so on.

My husband’s growing up years had similar stories of sibling rivalry and strive.

I was determined that our family would be different.

I wanted my children to be siblings that loved each other, and it be obvious to others!

I had a bag of tricks that I worked into our day to nip bickering in the bud. They really worked well for the two children that were closest in age.

However, I had work to do when I had siblings with several years separating them, but to this day, it is easier to put the effort in early and seeing fruits of my labor than the number of challenges that we face.

I can say that our children love each other. In fact, they are true friends, even when the largest gap is 15 years.

As a parent, it is the sweetest feeling to witness a true friendship with your children and probably one of the most life giving efforts, aside from building their faith.

Learning to love your siblings God's way

Raising Siblings to Love Each Other Tips

I would love to share with you some of things we did, and some resources that will help you raise siblings to love each other.

Be Intentional About Your Children’s Relationships

I knew that I didn’t want my children to deal with the sibling rivalry that most homes experience. I wanted my children to be each other’s best friends. I daily told them that they were created to be best friends, and they knew that I meant it.

We prioritized our life to demonstrate this belief by providing our children with more time together, than with other children.

They had friends, and enjoyed the times we spent with others, but on a daily basis, I wanted them to consider the friends that were sharing the same house.

Don’t Allow Bad Behavior Between Them

Growing up, I was a pushing bag for a sibling. It was all fun and games for that sibling, but not so much for me. My husband had a similar experience growing up. He even told me that at one time he grew to hate this brother. As he grew that feeling has changed, but they aren’t really close.

We were adamant about not allowing our children to hit each other, call each other names, or to be unkind in the ways siblings have done. If they did these things, they knew they had consequences.

Of course, there were times that it seemed that I was constantly correcting our children for the things that every other home seemed to allow and say was normal. It wasn’t easy, but today, I see the fruit of those hard days. If you are diligent in your training, you will too and will experience the joy that I know now.

It hurts me to see parents allowing their children to harm each other in words or in action. They are creating bullies in their own home in a way that they would never permit other children outside their home to do to their children.

Foster Love When It Isn’t Present

There are so many opportunities in a day of a family, especially a homeschool family, where love isn’t present. Having to share toys, do the same things instead of your idea, share a room or even a house when you are in a bad mood or just wanting some alone time.

We had a few things built into our day that would foster love when it wasn’t present and even help our children understand what it really looks like to love another person.

These things were in form of action.

If they were mean with their mouth or body, the two children involved would have to hug each other until love was obvious. Some times this lasted two minutes, and others times it lasted 30 minutes. It worked!

I created an hour a day in the afternoon where all of my children had to do something with each other. We called it sibling time. My children still do this today, but with the adults, they don’t do as often but it is still a priority.

My children have learned how important it is to spend time together and to grow a relationship.

I know that this has not only helped them in other relationships, but will aid them in their marriages, as well.

Resources for Raising Siblings to Love Each Other

My good friend, Kimberly Sorgius from Not Consumed, has a heart for sibling relationships. She has a resource that will be a great way to study about sibling relationship called My Brother’s Keeper.

Learning to love your siblings God's way

 

My Brother’s Keeper comes in YOUTH and in JUNIOR, so you can use it for multiple ages.

 

 

 

How to Create Friends in Siblings

How to Create Friends in Siblings www.joyinthehome.com

We all have some strife in our homes that we would love to remove.  What we all need more of is tips on how to create friends in siblings to help remove some of that strife and increase the joy of parenting within our homes again. Many years ago, when I first started my journey as a parent, my husband and I decided that we were going to be diligent in creating friendships in our children and these are the steps we took to do that.

How to Create Friends in Siblings

My husband and I both have stories about our older siblings being… well physical in their actions toward us. We both agreed that we were not going to have this in our home… willingly!

As our two older ones were around 2 and 4, the physical nature started. I was shocked because we weren't going to have this and it already started at an early age. My problem solving nature kicked in and I went looking for a permanent fix to these actions that was very familiar to my husband and I… the very things we were trying to keep out of our ‘wonderful' family.

We decided to look for scriptures to help us in raising our children in a way that will help us to ‘keep their hands off each other in anger‘. I didn't find exactly what I search for, but what I did find was a lot about friends and I began to realize that my closest friend growing up, Kimmie, was like a sister to me.  We got upset with each other at times, but we NEVER hit each other.

This all began to make sense to me, I need to build friends, not siblings!

This one verse was our core in the training… Proverbs 18:24 “A man that hath friends must show himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticks closer than a brother.” 

Oh my goodness!  This was an epiphany for me and maybe to you.  Jesus was the only other thing that was closer to us than our brother!

Here are the steps I took, as the main care giver to our children, as we worked to create friends in siblings:

  • That day I used Proverbs 18:24 as a weapon against strife in our home.
  • I began to quote, Ephesians 4:26 “Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath.”
  • My children were told that they were each others best friends and I would tell them what best friends do for each other.
  • We learned about the relationship of Jonathan and David (I need to teach this one to my 10 year old! I love how blogging helps me stay accountable.) Read I Samuel 18 – 20 (or further) to read the relationship between these men! This is a PERFECT example of what a sibling relationship should look like!
  • We learned John 15:13, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”
  • We shared what the Bible says about strife and that pride and envy is the root of it.
  • We always got to the root of a situation, working pass the reaction (like hitting, etc.) but the reason a child reacted. Many times we would find that there was someone who was ‘stirring up strife‘. (Proverbs 6:19)  If you can eliminate the instigator, you will be able to calm the child who tends to become angry and acting out.
  • I would intervene immediately when strife started, because I wanted to remove the habit that was forming in my children.
  • I would have my children hug, without stopping, until I could see they they could show love to each other and apology with sincerity.
  • I would have them sit on opposite sides of the room, in silence, until they have time to gain self-control and I would always share what is expected of them by God, if they choose to obey His word and walk in His ways, to receive His rewards.

Finally, I needed to work on ME!  I needed to learn how to deal with my own temperament and learn how to calm down before acting. Not that I was going around hitting people, but because I need to mirror to my children what is proper and expected in our home. I'm still fighting this fight, but praising the Lord for the amount of road that I have covered in correcting this natural flaw in my human flesh.

I pray that these tips will encourage you in your daily working within your home, to create in your children the desire to be ‘best friends'!  Truly this is something worth the effort and so rewarding when in their late teens, they still cherish each other enough to share their day with them with JOY!