How I promote healthy bonds among my children
Promoting healthy bonds among siblings is the goal of many parents.
Relationship among siblings is often the longest, and certainly one of the most important aspect of a child’s life. This is because children learn at home how to relate with their siblings first before relating with strangers as they go though life.
Parents are often torn between settling disputes among their children. It is not always pleasant for parents to keep breaking up fights and correcting children about their attitude towards their siblings.
But enforcing healthy bonds among children even while they fight and disagree with one another will help strengthen family bond.
While the future is never 100% certain, there are some basic family principles parents can consciously put in place early, to foster great bonds among siblings.
For Mr. Gbenga Akinola, playing together as a family strengthens his family unit. This is because children who are taught to value the entire family will also value their siblings more. These dedicated family playtime are also models for siblings as to how to play fair, which will ultimately lead to a healthier relationship.
He observed over the years that his involvement in getting his family to play wanes as his children grew older. However, their regularly scheduled family fun time is important. It has helped shape his children’s attitude towards one another. They know that family comes first and they must have each other’s back always.
For me, positive parenting does the magic in making sure my children stay bonded. Negative parenting practices like yelling and over-punishing can be detrimental to a child’s well being. It can also lead to older children imitating these behaviours and bullying their younger ones.
Practicing positive parenting techniques fosters healthy parent-child relationship as well as a respectful sibling relationship and high self-esteem, which reduces competition among them. It’s not like my four children don’t have moments that they disagree and yell at each other, but I have taught them to fight with love.
Moreover, I reduce rivalry among my five children by reinforcing healthy behaviour among them. One day, my son hit my daughter, his younger sister because she ate his food. I made sure he didn’t repeat that aggressive behaviour. I made sure he went without food for a whole day so that the lesson would sink. Today, he respects women.
One of the most interesting things I have learnt is that children have an intense need to be individuals within the family unit. To them, standing out translates to being significant within the family.
What I do is, identify the positive attributes that of each child, and reinforce them often. I celebrate their strengths and do not look down on any of them. I don’t have a favourite child. I love and treat all my children equally.
You can’t really rule out sibling rivalry in the family, but you can reduce instances of negative behaviours. I reduce rivalry by promoting each of my children’s innate pride. Nothing fuels the fires of sibling rivalry more than vying for mom and dad’s praise.
Teaching my children to have innate pride in their accomplishments has cut down their need for competition with their siblings just to earn my approval or that of my wife.