A child’s siblings are arguably some of the most important people that will cross his (or her) path in life. They are his first friends, his greatest rivals and best buddies all in one. By encouraging a deep bond between your children, you will give them a gift that lasts a lifetime.
Lifelong Friendships – One of the most important reasons to encourage sibling bonds is because your children will be each other’s first and hopefully best friends throughout life. While other relationships will come and go, your children will always be family to each other. Your children’s relationship with each other is in some ways even more important than their relationship with you, because if you all have similar life spans, your children will continue their relationship even after you are gone. Make the effort to convey the importance of your children’s sibling relationships to them.
A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity. (Proverbs 17:17 ESV)
A Deep Understanding of Each Other – Because your children will likely grow up in the same home and with the same set of parents, there is an understanding they have of each other that no one else will have. They alone will remember how you were as a parent, with all your great qualities and annoying habits. They alone will grow up in a family that is one and the same. This is invaluable and a great privilege, as children with no siblings don’t share this bond with anyone to the same extent.
Better Health – Harmony within the family leads to increased health in every area. When your children are fighting and failing to connect with each other, they will have an increase in stress levels as well as health issues – whether it be mental, physical, or emotional. Strengthening sibling bonds leads to an atmosphere that is more peaceful, and that calms and nourishes your child in every way.
Activities in Teamwork – One great way to increase bonds between your children is to encourage activities that strengthen their teamwork mentality. Choose activities that are unusual and that you rarely do, to give them a chance to see each other as teammates rather than just big sibling or little sibling. Things like puzzles, sports and playing musical instruments together promote learning to work together as a team instead of just coexisting.
Fun Activities – When family has fun together, their relationships grow naturally and without effort in those moments. Use this to your advantage, and spend time doing activities such as swimming, hiking and playing board games. When summer arrives, let your children put on the sprinkler, jump on the trampoline and eat their lunch together picnic-style outside. These carefree times will give them memories that last them a lifetime, and that they can look back on together in the future.
See every moment as an opportunity to facilitate bonding between your children, and it will shift your perspective. Sibling bonds are some of the most important bonds that your child will have throughout his lifetime. They will strengthen your child as an individual and as part of the family. Nurture these bonds and the outcome will be one of your greatest joys in life.