I’m happy to introduce a new series here on the blog! The Practical Parenting series will run each Wednesday and a mom will share a tip or something she’s learned in the trenches of parenting. Aimee is sharing today on building strong sibling ties. It’s an honor to have her here~~
All three of my kids have a strong relationship with each other. This did not happen by chance or accident. It took work and purposefulness.
Marcus and I wanted our kids to be close right from the beginning. This was something that was very important for me and my husband. It is our hope and prayer that the closeness that has developed between our three kids will continue into adulthood.
Here are some things we were intentional about:
Pray With Each Other
One thing we have always encouraged with our children is having them pray for and with each other. When one is having a bad day, the other 2 pray for their sibling. There was one time when someone deeply hurt my oldest daughter. My son and youngest daughter both had the quick response of prayer for their sister.
When they argue and have a disagreement, the rule is they must check their hearts for any wrongdoing. This requires having them ask God to search their hearts and show them any sin they have committed against their sibling. Then they have to go to their sibling and pray with them about the situation. I find this practice draws them closer to each other and to God. When children are close to God, they are more likely to be close to each other. When they are full of God’s love, it is easier for them to display that love to each other.
The Protective Brother
Early on, we taught our son that he is a protector for his sisters. A good protector does not hurt or abuse the ones he cares for. He takes his responsibility very seriously and it shows. However, just because the girls are sisters doesn’t mean they should not be protective as well. They all just look out for one another. No matter what.
We also allow a lot of room for silliness. Whether it is note passing during their school day or my son impersonating me – which is unbelievably comical. I am certain that the three of them pass amusing notes to each other when they are supposed to be doing their school work. Or they write on each other’s books and draw witty pictures. They think I don’t know which draws them closer to each other.
My son does these clever and hilarious impersonations of me – he sometimes mimics his dad, but most of the time it is me. His impressions are both accurate and exaggerated, and they make the girls laugh in agreement.
A Note From my Kids
My oldest daughter says these things keep her close to her siblings: communication, forgiveness and hugs. She says that talking to each other as though they are friends is important. She also explains that being quick to forgive each other is essential for healthy relationship with each other. They live together and are bound to do and say things that are hurtful. On a side note, we have also discussed the importance of apologizing even if it was an accident. My daughter realizes that hugs cultivate a deep-seated bond with her younger siblings. They know when one of them needs a hug and they freely offer plenty of them.
My son says that one thing that keeps them close is having a great sense of humour. And he is the expert here! He is incredibly funny and full of jokes and puns. He lives to make his siblings (and mom and dad) laugh. Not a day goes by that there is no laughter in our house.
My youngest says that spending time together is important for being close. She often plays Lego with her brother and watches funny videos with her sister.
The Most Important Piece
They genuinely and tenderly care for each other. We realize that siblings who refuse to get along with each other are very much a heart issue. Therefore, the foundation for each of their relationships is Jesus. This is the most important point and one that should not be overlooked. They understand that the first commandment Jesus gave was to love God with all of their hearts, minds souls and strength. If they don’t love God like that, they cannot love others the way God intended. The second commandment Jesus gave was love your neighbour as yourself. My children recognize that their siblings are their neighbors. It is a commandment from God to love each other.
Aimee is a home educating support teacher who lives in the sunny Okanagan, BC. Aimee has been blissfully married for 17 years and still swoons at the sight of her tall, dark and handsome husband, Marcus. When she isn’t home educating her 3 kids, she enjoys sewing, quilting, scrapbooking and hanging out with her family. She blogs over at A Work of Grace. You can find her on facebook, twitter or Pinterest.