There is so much talk these days about "family togetherness" and I am ALL for that...but often overlooked is a very important and potentially LIFELONG bond that can be cultivated between siblings. I feel so passionately about this that I wanted to dedicate a page of the Cole Place Blog to it so we can come together as parents with ideas and plans on how to make our children become the best of friends!
Check out this AWESOME radio broadcast about helping to cultivate a sibling-friendship for your kids in the hopes they will remain close, even through the adult years!
(What I love about this show is that it isn't just how to get your kids to STOP fighting but talks about research that was done on what the contributing FACTORS are involved in siblings that have strong relationships)
Click on this link to LISTEN to these shows:
SIBLING FUN JAR
Can I get a SHOUT OUT from every amazing mother out there that is constantly playing referee to their bickering children?! Well, I for one am sick of it. I have accepted that this will SOMETIMES just be life, but I refuse to play referee 24/7! Thus, the "Sibling Fun Jar" was invented. It's free, it's simple and it's SANITY some days!
I just took a jar, decorated it then filled it with little notes decorated with the boy's fave superhero and animal stickers. When they get into an argument, they each must close their eyes and draw out a note from the jar.
These notes say things like, "Hug your brother as BIG as you can." "Act like a silly monkey until make your brother laugh." "Look your brother in the eye and tell him one thing you LOVE about him." "Hold hands with your brother for 5 minutes (Mom sets timer)." You get the idea!
It breaks up the usual lecturing (and I assume "in ear and out the other" most days) and gets them having fun and blessing the other person instead of being selfish and trying to get what they want. Of course, make this age appropriate. My examples apply to a 3 and 4 year old! Although I would like to see two teenage boys holding hands for five minutes...what a scene that could be!
After they are do their "fun note", we try to complete the disagreement with a hug and apology...it seems like a little laugh before this though helps the apology to come more from the heart (in general, laughter helps with EVERYTHING!). This is just a little idea that works for the Cole kids. Let me know what works for you!