Ever wonder how to encourage siblings to love each other? It really is the age old question! We’re working hard on raising brothers to be best friends but it’s definitely tough! Keep reading to find out some great ideas on how to foster sibling friendship.
I know my boys are young and I have no idea what they’ll be like as older kids or teenagers but, for now, these kids absolutely adore one another. Caleb often tells me that Josiah is his best friend and the number of times these boys wrap each other up in bear hugs, sit as close as possible, or give each other kisses is a little overwhelming. I attribute a lot (definitely not all!) of their love for one another to the way Nate and I are guiding them. If you ever wonder how to encourage siblings to love each other, here are a few suggestions.
Raising Brothers to Be Best Friends
Lead by Example
The number one thing that helps our boys love one another so well is the example they see from their dad and me. We’re obviously not perfect by any stretch of the imagination but we do our best to be each others’ best friends and love one another well. While we are certainly our boys’ parents, we also try to be their friends when we can. We tell them all the time that they are our friends and that we are each others’ best friends. Our family motto is “Kelloggs are Best Friends.” We even have a little sign saying just that hanging on our wall.
Let Them Form Their Own Sibling Friendship
If I had it my way, my boys would sit quietly and work on coloring and crafts all day every day. While they love doing that, they are also rough and tumble little guys. One of the ways they connect with one another is by wrestling. It drives me bonkers but I have to allow them to bear hug one another until they’re on the floor rolling around and giggling like crazy. #BoyMomLife
Teach Them Boundaries
On the opposite end of the spectrum, it is also my job to teach my boys boundaries. While they love wrestling, it often reaches a point where one of them is just done. I’ve made it clear that wrestling is only fun if they’re both having fun and it’s done the moment one of them wants to stop. That carries on into other areas of life. There’s no hitting, yelling, or badmouthing. I’m teaching them that it’s ok to be frustrated or upset but handling it with a gentle spirit is necessary to maintain healthy relationships.
Treat Them as Individuals
With two boys and another on the way, it’s easy lump them into “The Kellogg Boys” and treat them as a pair (soon to be trio). The thing is, though, Caleb and Josiah are honestly nothing alike and who knows what Daniel’s personality is going to be. It’s important to treat them as individuals – encouraging their strengths, not requiring them to be like their sibling, and spending one on one time with each of them. Hopefully this will limit the amount of resentment they could feel toward one another as they grow up.
Speak Positively About Them to One Another
I want my boys to be speaking positively about each other so I’m going to do the same. I’ll often tell Caleb good things Josiah has done or is doing and I already see it working because Caleb will often tell me good things Josiah is doing or will even commend Josiah personally without being prompted.
We are constantly talking about how our boys are best friends. We say it to them, we say it to each other in their presence, we encourage them to say it. Hopefully the brain washing sinks in and becomes a life long reality and our desire to be raising brothers to be best friends will happen. 😉
What do you do to foster sibling friendship between your kids?
Are your kids best friends?
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