17 tips for encouraging sibling bonding

We all want our children to get along with one another, but how can we as parents make that happen without it feeling forced?

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  • We all want our children to get along with one another, but how can we as parents make that happen without it feeling forced? Here are 17 practical tips that, if implemented in our homes, will do just that.

    1. Have a family night at least once a week.

    2. Eat meals together around the table. It provides an easy place for conversation.

    3. When assigning chores, pair them up.

    4. Help your children set goals. When each child achieves their goal, make it a family celebration.

    5. When your kids have an argument, end it by asking each to say five nice things about the other. In our house, this usually ends in laughter and the argument is forgotten.

    6. Provide opportunities for your children to serve one another. For example, buy a bag of small craft pom poms. In our home, we call these “warm fuzzies” and we use them to do kind things for one another. A child will make their siblings bed or help pick up their toys and then give that sibling a “warm fuzzy” to show them that they love them. These help the children learn that when you serve someone, you both feel “warm” and “fuzzy” inside.

    7. Let an older sibling help a younger sibling with homework, or have them read to their younger siblings for reading practice. You will catch them smiling and giggling together often.

    8. Teach your children to compliment and encourage one another. Make sure you are setting a good example by complimenting and encouraging them yourself.

    9. Make it a rule that everyone helps clean the kitchen after dinner. This has been some of our best bonding time as a family. We will crank the music up and dance our way to a clean kitchen.

    10. Take family vacations.

    11. Limit time with friends. In our home, with few exceptions, there are no friends allowed after dinner. That is our family time and we spend it dancing, reading a book together, or making up our own stories.

    12. Play games together. My family loves board games and card games. Sometimes, we even make up our own rules.

    13. Go on outings together. Ride your bikes, go to the park, fly a kite, go to the zoo or a museum. There are so many things you can do as a family. Plan an outing at least once a month.

    14. Give your children responsibility for something collectively. For example, a garden plot or a pet. When you give your children responsibility for something, they have to work together to make sure that the task is complete. They know it falls on their shoulders, not yours, and they will pull together to make it happen.

    15. Make a family goal and work toward it. You could save up for a big family vacation or work toward a cleaner home or better yard. When you set a goal, everyone works together to accomplish it.

    16. Build something together. This can be a puzzle, a play house, a model car, a piñata, the sky is the limit and teamwork will be the result.

    17. Help them each feel special and loved unconditionally by you. If they all feel special and loved by their parents, they will not feel that they need to compete with one another for time and attention.

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  • Sibling bonding is a natural result of family bonding. As you implement these activities in your home, you will see that as parents grow closer to their children, children grow closer to one another.

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Tiffany Fletcher, author of "Mother Had a Secret: Learning to Love my Mother and her Multiple Personalities" http://motherhadasecret.blogspot.com/

Website: http://motherhadasecret.blogspot.com

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