How do you get your children to want to be friends with their siblings?
Our kids are real close in age. 7, 6 and soon to be 5 years old. So them being friends isn't too hard. They all play really well together. However, to help a little we always do stuff that the oldest one can help the youngest one with. She loves helping her little brother. We also "share" chores, cooking, playing, etc. I couldn't imagine how hard it would be to have a teenager and a toddler. That could be challenging.
My children are 8 years apart. My daughter mothered my son and they were and are very close. I stayed out of their disagreements as much as possible and let them work things out between them. I think that is an important element in a growing friendship. If siblings think they can manipulate parents it may be harder to develop a friendship. Also, I never EVER compared the two of them or acted as though I preferred one of their personalities or behaviors over the other. Oh, I teased each about being my favorite but we all knew it was a joke. I think that kept sibling rivalry down because it was absolutely USELESS with me. I loved them differently but equally if that makes sense.
Don't take sides with one child against the other. When appreciating one child do not forget to appreciate the other too for something he must have done in the past. Treat all children with equal love and affection and they will be friends.
Give them fun activities to do together that don't require Mom or Dad favoring the younger one or better one.
Take them to the park or playground where both kids can play together.
Can parents help develop sibling bonds? Practical advice for parents from mom of 5. read more
It may not ever happen. My brother and I never got along growing up, even though we were very close in age. We were just different people, and I have learned to accept that. Now that we are adults, we tolerate each other's company to a point, but seldom see each other. Sometimes it just doesn't happen, and trust me, there is nothing the parent can do to influence whether or not two people (even their children) get along. It's all about personality and interest; who they are as a person, and try as you might, a parent has no control over who their children are as people.
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