The task of establishing a strong bond between siblings is the responsibility of the parents, says our guest columnist Meenal Arora
Parents should start thinking of ways to develop a strong bond between their kids when the good news of the arrival of a new member to the family is confirmed. A child should be prepared to welcome his/ her sibling with great excitement. The task is not so difficult because kids are generally ecstatic to hear such news. But they may not continue to have the same feeling later when they find great deal of parents’ time and love is being shared by the newborn.
As the infant grows, the task of establishing a strong bond between them is quite a task. Parents should be equally attentive to the needs of their elder child and sensibly devote their time between the two. Utmost care needs to be taken to help their kids get on well as they grow. The following ways can help the parents:
- Teamwork makes dream work. Parents should ensure their children are involved in such games or sports where they get an opportunity to play together, either as a team or as competitors. When they play together, they may fight but this opportunity helps in inculcating a sense of belongingness into them. The positive aspect of it is that they can later cherish the happy moments they shared while playing. Children can rely on their siblings to have a company any time to spend quality time.
- Parents should invest time with their children to have similar interest areas. If children in a family have the same interests of watching TV programmes, playing indoor games, sports to be played outside or choice of movies, then this makes the challenge of strengthening the bond between the siblings bit easy. This actually gives an opportunity to the siblings to spend pleasurable time together and cherish each other’s company.
- Parents should devise ways for their children to enjoy each other’s company like decorating house for an occasion, cleaning rooms, making cards, writing letters or helping in any household chores. Working together is success and brings happiness to the ones who accomplished the task assigned. This helps to stimulate the feeling of belongingness as well.
- Parents should appreciate and encourage the efforts when find their children enjoy each other’s company like when the elder child lends a hand to the younger sibling in his/ her art work or telling stories to each other while trying to sleep. They develop feelings together when they spend time together.
- Siblings should consider each other as precious gifts their parents have presented to them. To develop feelings for each other, parents can bring out or appreciate the good qualities their children are endowed with as brothers or sisters. This practice should take place frequently so its reinforcement will make the kids feel they are lucky to have each other.
- Parents should let their children settle their squabbles. As we all know that bickering is a part of growing up so instead of intervening, parents should suggest ways to get over the problem without taking anyone’s sides. If parents’ intervention is necessary then they should very carefully settle the squabble or any kind of argument without taking sides.
- Life, nowadays, is busy and hectic. A family should try to have its meal (at least, dinner) together because as they say, “A family who eats together stays together”. When we sit together, we tend to share our experiences and such a sharing fosters the bond between the family members. Children find it amusing to listen to their siblings’ experiences and can learn from them and at times can even relate to the experiences shared.
- A family should plan a day to be spent together in a week whether outside the house or inside. When we plan a day together, we enrich our memories with the happy and enjoyable moments spent together. This is an investment to have a deep bond between the family members and it works wonders in case of children because they simply love to enjoy with the family.
Over and above, children should be assured that they are the important members of the family or a part of the family support system. Once they have this understanding whether knowingly or unknowingly, they become more supportive. Once the children understand that ‘unity is strength’ they will certainly develop a bond with their siblings which will last forever.
Meenal Arora is Executive Director of Shemrock Preschools
and the Founder Director of Shemford Futuristic Schools