I think every parent wants their children to be friends long after they’re gone, which is easier said than done. My kids really do love each other and play well together most of the time, but they also fight like cats and dogs. They know which buttons to push and how to get a reaction, even if it’s negative.
I want them to play together, be there for one another, support each other, and create memories together. Not just as children, but as adults. Here’s how I’m trying to make that happen:
In our home, we say I’m sorry. Not just a quick, insincere apology, but an actual heartfelt apology. Chloe used to say sorry all the time. It almost became a habit, which she probably picked up from me. Oops! We had to teach her and Miles when it’s important to apologize and how to make it count.
When to Apologize
- When you hurt someone’s feelings– this is never okay, and an apology is necessary.
- When you physically hurt someone– whether it was intentional or not.
How to Make it Count
We’re teaching our children that to make a heartfelt apology you have to reflect on what you did wrong and think about why it was wrong. Then you have to be willing to ask for forgiveness. It’s not easy, and sometimes their pride or stubbornness (don’t know where they got that from- insert cringe emoji here) gets in the way, but it’s worth it to me to take the time to teach them this valuable lesson.
Hug and Kiss Goodnight
When my husband was growing up, his sister would never let him or his brother go to bed until they gave her a hug and kiss goodnight. It seems like something so small, but you know what? They’re so close now as adults. They never go more than a couple days without talking, even if it’s just through texts.
Of course I want the same for my own children, so every night before they go to bed they always give each other a hug and kiss and say goodnight. It’s funny because Chloe actually started doing that on her own without being told. Miles, on the other hand, needed a little nudge lol.
Helping Each Other
I always encourage my kids to help each other out- whether it’s helping to clean up (regardless of who made the mess), or getting something for each other- they’re being taught to lend a helping hand. Thankfully, Chloe picked up on this right away and has always been a very helpful big sister. She’s a awesome role model for Miles.
That’s what we’re doing in our home to encourage healthy sibling relationships.
But when all else fails, or you’ve just had enough, you can always stick them in a shirt together and go grab yourself a cocktail 😉
What are some things you to do encourage strong relationships in your home?