In a modern family set-up, both parents deal with cramped working schedules that often carry over into the weekends. This entails leaving kids to the responsibility of a nanny or a caretaker. While a nanny can be trained to ensure healthy meals, regular baths and timely naps, children also need someone they connect to on an emotional level. And who better than a sibling? After all, a sibling is the first friend we have.
With technology being all-pervasive, kids run the risk of living in a virtual world. However, there are ways in which parents can actively connect their kids with family, especially siblings. Here are a few that have proven to be highly effective:
Family That Eats Together Stays Together
Eating together works wonders for a family’s bonding. Most of us, including kids, have jam-packed schedules. But having at least one meal together is still very much possible. And the earlier this habit is inculcated, the better it is. Also, if your kids are in their pre-teens, why not get them to do the dishes together? A great habit and bonding exercise rolled into one.
Sharing Is Caring
Promoting the importance of sharing between siblings is integral to the development of their emotional intelligence. Also, sharing helps build trust. For instance, the older sister lending her ethnic wear to the younger sister makes the younger one feel immensely loved and valued. Small things like these will facilitate the growth of mutual trust and respect between your kids.
Engage Them in Twosome Activities
Make sure your kids spend time engaging in activities that require them to work together as a team. Building Lego castles, baking cookies, painting a picture or something as simple and mundane as watching their favourite cartoon. Spending quality time together can boost sibling bonding by leaps and bounds.
It’s worth your while enrolling your kids for a hobby class together. Be it a dance class or guitar lessons, tennis coaching or karate. This will not only help them develop similar interests, but also get them to look out for each other in the absence of parents. Engaging in group activities will also help them realize how much more fun it is to be on the same team.
When kids spend time away from friends and other familiar routines, they turn to each other for companionship. A weekend camping trip or a visit to a relative’s place is the perfect way to get them to spend more time together and with parents as a family. Nothing elaborate needs to be planned, just pure and simple fun.
Let Them Fight Their Own Battles
As parents, we tend to get worked up over sibling squabbles. But unless the situation gets out of hand, it’s a good idea to withhold intervention. Instead, encourage them to apologize to each other without taking sides. If one child unintentionally feels biased against, the fight is only going to get worse. Let your kids learn how to negotiate and resolve their own conflicts. We are sure you know when to step in if needed.