Parenting Siblings

The best bit of advice for parenting siblings I’ve ever received:  “Remind your children that as siblings, they are best friends.” 

I remember hearing that advice when my son and daughter were close to 4 years and 1 year old respectively. The woman who shared the advice– who I greatly respect – was quick to add (with a smile on her face)  –  “…sometimes it might even take a little brainwashing.” That evening, I shared that same advice with my husband and he also reminded me that “they are likely the longest running friendship that they will know in their lifetimes.” 

Excellent.

I remember praying how do I go about fostering that kind of truth in their lives. The answer was simple – tell them. We would remind them after one might have hit the other (which BTW when they were really young, I would get my “sad face on”) and say “Oh, how sad. Brothers and sisters don’t treat each other that way.” Or when they were doing something so beautiful like sharing toys together or giving each other a hug we would say– “let me grab a camera and get a picture of the two of you together because I want to capture what great friends you are continuing to become.”

We encouraged them to love like they meant it…and we still do.

Now, please don’t hear that our kids never bicker or pick on each other. That would be called lying and that’s a whole different blog. But I will confidently say that now that they are almost 15 and 11 they truly are extraordinary friends.  They are encouragers of each other and they share stories and communicate like friends do– true friends. This type of relationship is not only a beautiful thing to witness, but it is also a lifelong gift that they will share as both brother & sister AND…as friends.

Now,  it’s your turn. What’s the best bit of advice you’ve ever been given for parenting?

Post by Sandii Chase

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