How Parents can Nurture Sibling Relationships – Riana Milne, LMHC, CAP, Cert Life & Relationship Coach
As parents, you have quite a bit of influence on how your children’s relationships with one another will be over their life-time. Siblings have life-long relationships that can either be incredibly rewarding or are extremely destructive. This relationship helps them to negotiate differences in future relationships, teaches them empathy and compassion, and teaches them to live successfully with others. As parents, this is what you can do to help:
1) With a birth of a new child, the oldest child will have jealousy over the baby getting all the attention, time, affection they used to receive along from mom and dad. Acknowledge these feelings and tell them how important they are in their role of a big sister or brother. Listen to and validate his feelings.
2) Have individual dates with each child. Both mom and dad should spend individual time with each child. Children will cherish these memories and feel 100% of your love and attention.
3) NEVER compare your children; find and cherish their differences. Compliment both equally. Never put down one to compliment the other. Instead, praise the behavior that your child did so well with, or correct the behavior you want stopped. Be sure you do not favor one child over the other. Make them both feel special!
4) Don’t describe your kids as excelling in different roles they will be forced to identify with for many years (ex: Your brother is the athlete, you are the smart or socially outgoing one). These forced identities may never change, because of the rigid messages adapted at an early life stage.
5) Offer the arts, music, athletics and scholastic experiences to both children. Encourage them to try all activities and tell them they each have the opportunity to succeed in the areas they enjoy the most. Encourage them to support each other’s goals, activities and successes.
6) Allow siblings to work through their disagreements to teach the skills of negotiation and so they build a relationship separate of their parents.
Riana Mine, MA, is a Certified, world-wide Relationship, Love & Life Coach, #1 Best Selling Author, motivational speaker, Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Cert Addictions Professional at Therapy by the Sea; 15300 Jog Rd, Suite 109, Delray Beach. Her free App: My Relationship Coach offers more articles and her books, LIVE Beyond Your Dreams – from Fear and Doubt to Personal Power, Purpose and Success, and LOVE Beyond Your Dreams – Break Free of Toxic Relationships to Have the Love You Deserve addresses relationships with yourself and others. To learn more about Riana’s Life or Love Coaching programs or suggest a topic, go to Riana’s website, www.RianaMilne.com or email RianaMilne@gmail.com. Worldwide Coaching Phone: (201) 281-7887. Delray office: (561) 701-8277; Skype Coaching and FB: coachrianamilne. #LoveCoach, #LifeCoach, #RelationshipCoach, #SinglesCoach