A sibling relationship is one of the significant bonds that children experience in their life. It is one such relationship that helps in shaping their lives as well as teaches them the values of sharing and caring, problem-solving, etc. However, rivalry and friction in sibling relationships are not uncommon. To varying degrees, it is present in all sibling relationships. Healthy arguments are necessary, but the unhealthy ones are worrying.
And now, with the deadly pandemic forcing everyone indoors, it is far more likely for the siblings to have conflicts. It is because they are now forced to spend more time with each other than ever, and conflict of interest can happen. But, it is also one opportunity for the parents to strengthen sibling bonds. Parents can turn self-isolation into bonding time.
- Engage them in Teamwork: How well do your children know each other? Instances are, they hardly know about each other’s likes and dislikes because they do not get ample time to spend together. Now is the opportunity for them to bond. So, as parents, you can engage them in activities that require teamwork. May be arranging their room every day, going out for grocery shopping, etc. This way, they will get the space to talk and get to know each other better than before. Also, make them respect each other’s interests, even if they are different from theirs.
- Teach Them To Listen and Resolve Conflicts: As said earlier, sibling conflicts are frequent. They share a love-hate relationship. But, as parents, you must watch that the silly fights don’t blow out of proportion. It’s a common practice for siblings to stop talking to each other after the fight or they just distance themselves from each other. And in the long run, all these practices distance them from each other. Teach them to listen and resolve conflicts peacefully. Encourage them to have empathy for each other. After all, sibling love is greater than any fight.
- Support and Nurture Each Other: Motivate your children to support and nurture each other. For instance, when a younger kid scores good marks, the elder one can appreciate his or her efforts with a small gift. And, when an elder sibling is sad, the younger sibling can cheer him or her up. Likewise, they can support and nurture each other. As parents, you should not compare your children. This activity will strengthen their bond.
- Have a Family Time: If as a parent you feel your children are more connected to their gadgets than they are to your siblings. Then, this lockdown is your opportunity to bring them closer. In a day, make it mandatory for them to spend time with each other, instead of their gadgets. Another chance for you to bring them closer is festivals. Raksha Bandhan is coming up, on that day persuade them to spend quality time with each other and not with their gadgets. After the rituals where she ties silver rakhi and he gives her a gift, they can go through old photographs, binge watch movies, etc.
- Avoid Favouritism: This one for parents. If you have two or three children, avoid favoritism. It hampers sibling relationships. Do not compare or criticize one sibling in front of the other. Love and nurture them all equally. Also, instill the same values in your children as well. Like when a sister is making an online rakhi delivery, she should buy the same rakhis for both her brothers or equally beautiful rakhis for both of them, instead of favoring one over the other.
Incorporate all these steps in the daily routine and you will find that your children connect better than ever. Their love will multiply during the lockdown season.