There aren’t many things sweeter to me than seeing my children enjoy and love each other. I see it when my toddler gets excited when his big brother gets off the school bus. I see it when my older children flock around the younger ones, wanting to play with them and hold them.
Of course, it’s not always like that. With a houseful of children, like I have, there are plenty of stressful times too. But, there are a few things you can do to encourage your children to love and like each other:
1. Kindness Only Zone
Don’t allow any sarcasm, name-calling or belittling comments between siblings. When they do happen (and they will) remind them that in your family, siblings love one another and are kind to each other. You can also post iMOM’s Sibling Rules so your kids will know what’s expected.
If a child is hurt physically or emotionally by a brother or sister, help them set it right. Have the offender apologize and ask for forgiveness. End the reconciliation with a hug. If you want to have fun with it, make it a long hug. Set the timer for thirty seconds and see if the tears don’t turn into smiles.
To really help your kids feel the love, let them fill in our 10 things I love about my brother or sister sheets.
3. Build Up
Build up your children to their siblings. “You know, you have a really kind brother. He loves you so much. Did you see how he picked up that toy you left behind?” Point out kindnesses between siblings. Foster kindness. Suggest that your children make homemade cards or color a picture for their brother’s or sister’s birthday, or when they aren’t feeling well. Also, encourage your children to pray for each other. If you pray as a family, it’s even better. Every child feels special when they hear someone praying for them.