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How To Encourage a Good Sibling Relationship

By Fredrica Syren:

Lately there has been a lot of fighting between my 4-year-old Noah and his sister, 8-year-old Bella. All afternoon long I find myself mediating between them. It’s not one’s fault more than the other. Bella likes doing things she knows will make her brother sad, and he loves to tease her endlessly until she erupts into anger. Gosh, I’m so tired of hearing “Bella hit me” or “Noah won’t stop bothering me.”

Last Sunday they ended up in a huge fight over helping me water plants. (And here I thought gardening is calming!) Before Isibsling relationship knew it, one was throwing water and the other one was screaming like a mad person. This time I sat them both down facing each other so they both could tell the other how they feel. As it turns out, Noah does not think Bella likes him at all, and Bella admits that she does not like him most of the time because he’s “a pest” (her words, not mine).

It made me realize I need to work on their sibling relationship. I think whenever there are households with more than one kid, you will find sibling fights. There is no easy way to avoid them completely. However, I do believe that you can teach them to work out their differences and to strengthen their sibling bonds.

The way I’ve been working to encourage sibling relationships is that, first I stopped comparing the two children. I realized they are different, so I try to make them (and myself) see and appreciate their differences.

I give them joint chores but let them figure out how to work as a team to get them done. Of course, watering the plants didn’t work out so well, but I realize my mistake was to put one in charge instead of to encourage teamwork. Now, I have them help me match socks in the laundry, help me bake a cake and set the table; but they have to work together to complete their task.

I also work on teaching them to respect each other and each other’s space. I’m working on their communicating with one another directly instead of going through me.

So far, it seems as if things are getting a little bit better, but of course we’re not having all fun and games yet. And maybe we never will. But I do tell them to love one another because, when it comes down to it, they will be related to each other for a very long time.

About Green Mom

Fredrica Syren, the author and founder of Green-Mom.com, was born in Sweden. Her mother was a classically trained chef who introduced her to many eclectic flavors and skills at a young age. Her mom’s passion for the outdoors and gardening planted the seed for her own love of nature and healthy eating. She received a degree in journalism and has worked as a print, Internet and broadcasting journalist for many years with big businesses within Europe and the United States. After her mom was diagnosed with terminal cancer and she with pre-cancer, Fredrica changed her career to become a full time yoga teacher and activist. A longtime world traveler, foodie and career woman, she was exposed to many facets of life, but nothing inspired her more than becoming a mom. After her first-born, Fredrica began a food blog focusing on local, seasonal, organic & vegetarian dishes. Years of food blogging developed into the cookbook Yummy in My Tummy, Healthy Cooking for the Whole Family. Upon the arrival of her second child, Fredrica founded Green-Mom.com. Her vision was to establish a site providing insight about gardening, home and personal care, baby & child, and of course food & nutrition. Green-Mom.com hosts many talented writers shedding light on ways to incorporate eco-friendly and nutritious practices for busy families. She is an advocate for organic, local and sustainable businesses. Fredrica hopes to inspire social change through her lifestyle, passion and business. Fredrica lives with her husband James Harker-Syren and their three children in San Diego, CA.

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One comment

  1. My sister and I are in our mid twenties and still have fight like mad! It ends up being our responsibility to be aware of our behavior when parents are no longer around to mediate! Always at the end of it, we know we are still sisters and still love each other :]

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