A few months ago, I read a tip in an online parenting community about how to strengthen sibling relationships and thought it was such a smart and simple idea…
The conversation was initially about how important it is to spend time 1:1 with each of our children every day (this part I was familiar with). Connection before correction especially when things feel particularly challenging (oh, like NOW for example??).
But THEN it went on to discuss the idea for siblings to also have their daily, special connection time with each other as well.
I love this suggestion that siblings could have prescribed time together (sibling dates!), especially ones that wouldn’t naturally play together due to a large age gap or personality differences. Like Henry and Dot who are 8 years apart, we want them to develop a strong relationship, but they don’t often naturally play together unless it’s defined as Henry + Dot time!
We’ve been doing this a bit with Henry and Dot, and Edie and Dot and it’s been really sweet to see what activities they come up with together. I’ve been pleasantly surprised how thoughtful they can be about what the other would want to do.
A couple tips:
1. It can be part of their daily routine, and they can take turns deciding what to do.
2. Keep these 1:1 siblings dates SHORT and SWEET (like 10 minutes??). And move them on to something else before they start fighting or arguing so they can build up a good memory of positive interactions with each other. Especially for particularly conflictual relationships.
3. Try to keep out of their way and let them solve disagreements on their own.
I honestly have seen a big difference in their relationships and trusting each other when we do this consistently.
Any tips you have for strengthening sibling relationships? Jared and I are starting a parenting coaching course together ext month, so I’ll be sure to share more tidbits of helpful ideas as we go!
PS Dot and Edie are in the sweetest striped nightgowns from the new children’s sleepwear line La Paloma