5 tips on teaching loyalty among siblings

When it comes to sibling bonds, there's no room for rivalries. But there is plenty of space for loyalty.

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  • For the most part, siblings fight over every little thing. Perhaps a little boy wants to play basketball with his older brother but is ignored or pushed away. Siblings want to join the same club at school, but only one is chosen. One sibling spends more time in the shower holding up the others. Even though arguments among siblings are common and inevitable, it is important for kids to understand how imperative loyalty is within their relationship.

  • As a little girl, I wanted to dress and act like my older sister. I would beg to borrow her clothes and shoes. She used to go along with it until one day she had enough. We argued, but our mom did not intervene. She allowed us our space to resolve our own issue. She believed we were old enough to understand each other's roles as sisters – to support, respect and be loyal to one another. After all, she taught us from day one what our role as sisters was.

  • Here are five easy steps to instill love, respect and above all loyalty among your kids:

  • Avoid favoritism

  • The moment you show signs of favoritism towards one child, your other child will feel unappreciated. For example, your child may ask himself, "Why do Mom and Dad love him more than me? Did I do something wrong?"The last thing you want is to make any of your children feel insecure and feel intimidated by his siblings. Instead, embrace each of your children's accomplishments with the same enthusiasm and love. Each child brings different qualities and talents to the family, so be equally proud.

  • No competition

  • In many instances, kids love to compete with each other. But when it comes to competing among siblings, it can raise concerns. If they are not taught the negative side to competing among each other, they will grow into young adults with the same rivalry behavior. Since I've seen this happen before, I know how rivalry behaviors destroy relationships. Therefore, teach your children to support one another during their highest and their lowest times.

  • Have your kids teach each other

  • If your children have an age gap, it's not a bad idea to have your eldest child help the youngest child with homework or school projects. If your children are the same or close to the same age, it's wise to have them work together. They can work as a team while doing house chores or school assignments. Regardless of the age, siblings' working as one increases stronger bonds.

  • Family gatherings

  • During breakfast, dinner or a family walk, encourage conversation. At this time your children can share any problems they are facing among each other or on the outside. Let them have that moment to share stories and express their feelings. It's a wonderful feeling when your children develop a close friendship and a closer sibling union.

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  • Let them resolve their own issues

  • It's encouraged to take a step back from intervening in your kids' argument, but always be aware of the situation. Nevertheless, allow them to resolve the issue among themselves without insults or physical contact.

  • Once your kids understand how important loyalty is, and as they grow older, they will infuse loyalty in their future relationships.

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Mayra Colón is a freelance writer, former independent author and avid reader. She holds a MBA from the University of Phoenix and completed the Freelance Writing and Selling Online course from Rutgers University of Arts and Sciences.

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