How to Help Your Kids Build Strong Sibling Relationships

Siblings are a child’s first friends. Later in life, they often serve as confidants and provide a shoulder to lean on.

The interactions and relationships built between siblings can be reflected in subsequent relationships with other people. Siblings can help each other build strong interpersonal skills.

As a parent, one of the most important things you can do is to encourage a supportive relationship between your children.

“Like it or not, so much of the way we learn to handle relationships, closeness, competition, give support, argue, resolve conflicts and play we learned from our interactions with our siblings,” said Dr. Jonathan Caspi, Montclair State University Family and Child Studies professor in a post by the Huffington Post.

Here are some ideas for how to foster strong sibling relationships:

  • Make chores a team effort: Collaboration allows children to build special bonds and learn the importance of teamwork.
  • Find a passion they share: Building memorable moments around a common bond for your children goes a long way.
  • Build family traditions: Strong family relationships also make sibling relationships stronger.
  • Encourage communication: Communication is fundamental. Encourage your children to discuss disputes and settle issues early on.

Research suggests that sibling relationships provide an important context for the development of children’s understanding of their social, emotional, moral and cognitive worlds. In particular, siblings play an important role in the development of children’s understanding of others minds, namely their understanding of emotions, thoughts, intentions and beliefs.

Do you have strong sibling relationships? Tell us how your parents fostered that bond throughout your childhood in the comments.

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Photo credit: MissMessie

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