How to Help Your Kids Build Strong Sibling Relationships

Bre'onna Richardson

| 2 min read

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.
If you liked this post, you might also enjoy:
Photo credit: MissMessie

A Healthier Michigan is sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit, independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.
No Personal Healthcare Advice or Other Advice
This Web site provides general educational information on health-related issues and provides access to health-related resources for the convenience of our users. This site and its health-related information and resources are not a substitute for professional medical advice or for the care that patients receive from their physicians or other health care providers.
This site and its health-related information resources are not meant to be the practice of medicine, the practice of nursing, or to carry out any professional health care advice or service in the state where you live. Nothing in this Web site is to be used for medical or nursing diagnosis or professional treatment.
Always seek the advice of your physician or other licensed health care provider. Always consult your health care provider before beginning any new treatment, or if you have any questions regarding a health condition. You should not disregard medical advice, or delay seeking medical advice, because of something you read in this site.