How to encourage a close relationship between your children

posted 2 years ago in Parenting
Post # 2
Member
2704 posts
Sugar bee

Ummm…that is what they DO when they are close in age at that age.lol  My kids are now 6 and 5.  While there are many advantages to having them that close, they used to fight ALL.the.time.  As they’ve started kindergarten, they’re reigning it in now and it’s not as bad as before. Plus, they are out of the ‘selfish’ stage and now I can actually reason with them.

But when it gets too bad, I send one off to one room and the other to another. Most times, they end up coming back to me apologizing and they miss each other after two minutes.smh 

Post # 3
Member
549 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2017

I’m not a parent but have cousins who sound a lot like your children. They’re 2 years apart, boy and girl, and fought their entire childhood; like street fight, fist flying arguments. It was crazy!  Aside from loving and disciplining them equally, I don’t think their parents did anything specifically to make them have a close relationship. They did do family activities, camping and such but eventually, they hit middle-high school age and just grew out of it. Now (at 24 & 26) they’re like BFFs. Personally, I never fought with my sister and we aren’t close at all, I attribute it to our completely opposite personalities and 6 year age difference. I don’t know if a future sibling bond is something you can control 

Post # 4
Member
2704 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: January 2015

HelpfulMarriedGirl:  My parents didn’t do anything lol. I wish they would have. My brother and I didn’t get along AT ALL growing up! I think if we had done more things as a family it would have given my brother and I chances to bond more. The one and only time we went somewhere as a family is one of my fondest memories, even though it hindsight it was terrible haha. It rained the whole day, we were soaked. But we had a ton of fun.

I plan on having kids close together, and I hope they get along. My FI and I are outdoorsy people, so camping will be a regualr thing for our family. We’re also fortunate to live around some great zoos and museums. That would be my only advice, just spending quality time together. Give them good expereinces and memories to bond over and reflect upon as they get older.

Post # 5
Member
2566 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

My brother and I were 1.5 yrs apart, and my brother and younger sister were 3 years apart.  I was very motherly towards them growing up, but my brother hated my sister, and my sister picked on him because she wanted his attention.  Now, I moved away, and my brother and sister are SUPER close.  We range from 19 to 24 yo.  Give them time.  Make them spend time with each other, and encourage them to talk.  Especially when they get older…. If they ask for help or advice, say, “why don’t you ask you brother?  He went through that not to long ago.”

You’ll be fine.  I promise.  Just keep doing family activities together and keep them together so they don’t continue to grow apart.

Post # 6
Member
3866 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

To be honest, I think you have to let them work it out for themselves. Don’t force it though – my mother made me take my sister everywhere with me, and it made me resent her and made us LESS close. My mother still pushes for me to call my sister or go visit her and it drives me insane. I think if she had let us figure it out ourselves instead of trying to force us into a close relationship, we might be closer.

Post # 7
Member
375 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

You should check out the blog Sunnysideup. The woman has three children nad her two daughters are close in age and are truly best friends. She used to be a teacher and she shares SO many tips on how to not only help solve problems but also how to encourage friendship between siblings.

She shares things like asking siblings “Whats one thing about Addie that you really love?” or “Emma always shares with you. Isn’t that really nice? Whats one thing of yours that you think you might want to share with her today?” I’ve never heard a parent saying those things before but I think it really helps to prompt kids to recognize those things that they wouldn’t realize on their own. Here’s an example post link: http://www.thesunnysideupblog.com/2012/07/q-sibling-love.html

Hope this helps?

Post # 8
Member
4413 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

My brother and I have always been close, and I think part of it was that my mom encouraged us to play together when we were bored. Things like basketball in the driveway, badminton in the yard — activities that require two people in order to play them at all. So we could either play together, or be bored … and we usually chose to play together! So I guess one way to help would be to have activities that require two players in order to be fun (Connect Four was also a good one), so they’ll realize how great it is to have a natural play partner around all the time!

Post # 9
Member
314 posts
Helper bee

I can tell you what my parents did wrong: they always took my little sister’s side in every fight, they made it obvious she was the favorite, pushed us to hang out together all the time, and we were always given the same gifts at holidays because of course it was easier and they didn’t feel the need to treat us as individuals

BUT nothing brings enemies closer together than a common hatred! it’s true!! haha, the minute my sister decided she wanted to rebel and we both hated our parents we became best friends. So you just need to find something your kids can team up against…  Is there a sport maybe your kids can play together? Maybe have them build a fort out of cardboard boxes (or this winter’s snow) and you can be the big bad dragon trying to destroy it. Killing slugs in the garden, or make a game of pulling weeds for prizes.

Or find a hobby that includes both of them- like get a kid friendly digital camera and teach the older one to use it taking pics of the little one (keep that one preoccupied playing with bubbles or something) so they’re both involved but the older one stays stimulated and feels special.

Post # 10
Member
2338 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2016

eh.. Closeness in age doesn’t really have merit on relationship, I think. I’m a twin, and my brother and I went through life hating each other and liking each other. I also have a sister who’s close in age, and two who are not, and same with them.

You can’t force a relationship, people make relationships with whomever they want. And some people don’t want relationships with their siblings. Kids tend to be harder to “be friends” with their siblings, and people tend to be grow out of it eventually. 

Post # 11
Member
302 posts
Helper bee

HelpfulMarriedGirl:  I have a sister who is 14 months younger than me and my parents (actually just my  mom) actually made our relationship more strained by trying to push us to be closer. My little sister and I used to get into fights too when we were younger and she’d bite me when she was annoyed and then when I’d retaliate by shoving her or something I’d get in trouble because I was the older one and was supposed to be more mature. Instead of dealing with our issues, she just told me to be nice to my little sister since it was my job. My sister never learned to apologize for anything, something which my parents now see in her and are disappointed in. When we were older (like 17 and 16) she had a massive tantrum and went off about how I’m such a horrible person and she hates who I am and how we can never be friends because I’m too sarcastic and she hates people who are sarcastic. This blow up occured because she had played a bad game of tennis and when she got home and wanted to go to the pool I suggested that she wear sunscreen because I’d gotten burned earlier in the day. AKA pretty much out of nowhere. My mom witnessed the whole thing and it was essentially her screaming at me for 30 minutes and then slamming the door to her room in my face. She has never apologized to me to this day (7 years later) and our relationship is strained. Multiple times my mom has come to me and told me that I need to “make things right” with her because I am the older sister (by 14 months). HELL NO. I am cordial and I keep in touch with her but my contact is barely if ever reciprocated and she never bothers to talk to me unless I reach out first and even then it’s short responses. Yet somehow it’s still on me to “make things right?!?” NOPE. Sometimes siblings are close, sometimes they aren’t. If you raise all the kids to be respectful of others and accountable for their words and actions then they should get along well enough. Trying to meddle in their relationship or force it will never work. Granted I’m biased, but when my mom tries to “encourage a close relationship” between me and my sister, it not only doesn’t do any good, it also makes me resent her. 

Post # 12
Member
169 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

I’m not sure this is something you can do much about. 

My fi and his brother aren’t particularly close, and the attempts by their mother to force the issue largely make it worse and are really just for her benefit. (They are now late 20s/30 and it’s just a bit embarrassing)

Post # 14
Member
344 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2015

I’m not a mom, and I don’t have advice for you. But I can tell you a story. Whenever my brothers and I fought, my mother would say, “Friends will come and go, but your siblings will never you leave you.” Over and over again she’d say that, while we’d roll our eyes and make faces. But you know what? I haven’t kept in touch with anyone from my youth, yet my brothers and I text nearly every day. I don’t remember my parents forcing us to bond, but I think hearing that mantra all the time stuck in our heads.

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