One of the greatest highlights of my life thus far has been to watch the relationship between my children grow. It has been a privilege to see Noelle step into her big sister role once her baby brother came along. When Jaren came along, I thought long and hard about how I wanted to encourage them to have a healthy sibling relationship. It is constantly at the forefront of my mind because I don’t believe close sibling relationships come out of pure luck. Strong families, healthy marriages, and close sibling relationships all take work.
There are no promises in life, but I have seen so many families successfully raise their children to be close and loving, that I believe it is possible to encourage, and build upon it. At the foundation of all these “strategies” is the central idea that I want to raise
children people who are kind, open, considerate, and respectful. I believe those traits really strengthen relationships of all kind.
The “gentle” part is a work in progress around here…
These are some ways we’ve tried to promote sibling love between our kids:
1. Model and encourage affection - This one is huge for us. Mr. Heels and I are really affectionate – to each other, and to our kids. In turn, they have become really affectionate with us, and to each other. We don’t just let our actions speak though, we also actively encourage affection by saying things like, “Jaren got a boo boo. Can you kiss it Noelle?”, or for no reason at all, “Jaren can you give Noelle a hug?”. Sometimes they do it all on their own, without any prompting, simply because we brought to their attention something nice the other did. Actions, strengthened by words.