Are you worried about the connection your children have with each other? Perhaps they’re constantly arguing, tattling, and fighting with one another? As you know, one of the longest and perhaps most meaningful relationships your kids will have starts with their siblings. Growing up in the same house, they will encounter and share things with each other that they won’t experience with anyone else. That’s why it is imperative for parents to try and create a foundation for their children to connect and bond in a positive manner.

No matter their gender, age, or other differences, you can help your children foster a positive sibling relationship that lasts a lifetime. Here are some suggestions on how:

No Comparisons

You may be proud of something that one child does that the others don’t, but you shouldn’t express this. Comparing your kids will certainly drive a wedge between then causing them to resent each other.

Teach Respect

Respect is at the foundation of any relationship. Teach your children to respect one another. Treating others as you want to be treated, being an effective listener, talking to each other in a calm tone, and being considerate of each other’s feelings and opinions (even when they don’t agree) are a few ways to educate your children on respect.

Love Their Differences

Sometimes siblings will argue or not get along as a result of their differences. It could be that one kid is more of a video game expert while the other is more of a bookworm. There could also be more significant differences like one child being biological and the other having been adopted from an adoption agency. No matter what, as a parent, it is your job to help them see their differences as a positive. Teach them how their differences make them unique, and how to respect each other’s differences.

Fighting Fair

It’s a natural occurrence for siblings to disagree on occasion. However, kids should not be emotionally or physically abusive to one another. Show your children how to have respectful disagreements. Show them how to voice their opinions and listen to what their brother or sister has to say as well. Though they may not agree, you should reinforce that finding common ground is a healthier option to conflicts.

Have Fun Together

Part of building strong family bonds means spending quality time with one another. Try to always find time in your schedule to enjoy family fun. This reinforces the importance of togetherness and close bonds. Whether you watch movies, go to the park, take a vacation, or play games at home, the more your family is in a fun and positive space, the less focused they are on conflicts.

Sibling rivalries, arguments, and disagreements are bound to happen. Your children are very different individuals learning to live together as a unit. So, if you’ve noticed some conflict between your children, it’s not necessarily grounds for concern. The best thing you can do to ensure that your kids have a tight sibling bond is to lead by example and teach them positive qualities and skills that they’ll need to navigate any relationship. In the end, you’ll find that they’re thick as thieves.