What is your best memory with your sibling? Was it about sharing a pani puri plate? Or was it about doing some naughty thing and hiding together from the angry parents? We try our best to teach our children about strong sibling bond through our own stories.
Whatever is the difference, age, personality traits or gender, the sibling bond holds strong importance in our lives. Your communication with sibling also shows a lot of things. It shows how you will interact with friends, partners or colleagues. Parents are the bridge between the two. Hence, they can play a key role in nurturing the strong sibling bond. They can help them reduce sibling rivalry and conflict. It is possible simply by paying RENT. Yes, you read that right?
It is not that rent. It is actually an acronym for four tips that parents must teach children to build stronger sibling bond.
Parents can play a key role in helping nurture a good sibling relationship and reduce sibling rivalry and conflict. By encouraging activities that foster teamwork, setting kids up to have fun together, and giving kids the tools to work out conflicts in a constructive and respectful manner, parents can help siblings develop a good relationship that will carry them through the rest of their lives.
But before I begin explaining what it means, we as parents also need to know few things. Maybe we are distant from our siblings, we need to promise following four things to our siblings. Parents are children’s role models. When they see you taking special efforts towards your own sibling bond, they will do the same.
Here are 4 things that will help parents strengthen their sibling bond.
Create a bonding tradition. Plan to meet your siblings at least once a week or a month. Share happenings in your lives with each other. If they are abroad or too distant, make a video call.
Respect Each other. This is the most important aspect. There may be differences of opinion. There may be behavioral variables between siblings. But, to maintain the bond, we must respect each other.
Ensure that the bonding happens between sibling’s children. It is the parent’s responsibility to make sure that your children and your sibling’s children get along with each other. For example, I have an elder sister. It is my and my sister’s responsibility to make sure that my daughter and her daughter get along with each other.
Never fight with your sibling for the sake of another person/third person. Stand as a family all the time. Whenever you find the third person intruding your sibling bond. Be alert and don’t fight because of it.
Now let’s get back to the main point of building sibling bond between our children.
Let’s get to know about RENT in detail.
Like I mentioned above paying respect towards sibling is at utmost priority. How do we teach this to children? Whenever there is a fight between them. Ask them to sit next to you. Try and have a conversation with them. Start with asking what they like the most about each other. This will bring positivity in the relationship. It is about checking on if they can continue to respect the good things about each other irrespective of their fights. Respect for each other shouldn’t be bothered.
Say no to ‘EGO,’ say YES to ‘Empathy.’ Enemy of empathy is ego. It triggers the urge of fighting. On the other hand, empathy will think about the solution. Ego destroys things. When we empathize, we try and build the bridge. Agreed, that they may not like a few things about each other. But how do they communicate about it with each other defines their sibling bond? A loud voice and harsh words represent ego. A lower tone and soft language show empathy. Teach your child to be empathetic, not egoistic when it comes to sibling bond.
Which is the brightest memory you have with your sibling? My favourite one with my sister was, tickling each other when the other one is about to fall asleep. That made our relationship alive. Naughtiness is a magnet that attracts two pieces of iron to each other. Make sure that there is enough naughtiness between your children too.
Share with each other about problems. Ask for help if need be. This last point is a base for all the above points. No matter what differences of opinion children develop for their sibling, there should be respect and empathy for each other. Transparency in any relationship without empathy might lead to ego and therefore disrespect. It is about telling the truth but with sympathy.
So make sure, that we as parents, teach our child what RENT is? Why do they need to pay it to their siblings?
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