As I'm sure you all witnessed, last week was National Sibling Day and I truly enjoyed seeing all of the pic collages of my friends and family with their siblings. It's really great when you see that a parent has done an exceptional job forging strong family ties. I know as a Mother, nothing would give me more peace than knowing after I'm gone my children are there for each other through thick and thin! (Smile)
That's why Hubby and I work so hard to keep our daughters engaging with each other. My oldest is 10 and the youngest is 3 and that to me is a pretty big age gap, so here are some ideas we came up with to encourage interaction among our tribe.
1.) Room Assignments- We have 4 girls, so we paired our oldest up with "babygirl". My oldest was struggling with the big sister role and sort of became detached, so we placed these 2 together as roomies and bang, love connection...I mean who can resist a cute 3yo in the middle of the night spooked from a bad dream? This also encouraged teamwork as they are both responsible for keeping their room clean. My oldest has established a leadership role in their relationship and is viewed as almost a second mother of sorts to "babygirl", because if for some reason I am unavailable at babygirls call big sister steps in in a flash.
2.) Homework Help- Since I am currently a working mom, my oldest is responsible for helping the sister under her with her homework. The same goes for the set of littles; the older little is responsible for helping babygirl with her afterschool assignment. After their time together I step in and review the work and have them explain their answers to make sure no "extra help" was given.
3.) Chores- My girls have chores beyond making their beds and cleaning their rooms. They help with laundry, setting the table and cleaning common areas of our home. This instills the idea that they are responsible for each other. If one is in charge of socks they are in charge of everyone's socks.
4.) Games- We love to play team video games (ie. Michael Jackson, Dance Revolution or Kinect Adventures). My girls are competitive by nature so any chance they get to team up and give a beat down (in play, of course) they're ready for action. We also play board games, which is a great way to teach the littles about patience and taking turns. I mean think about it nothing ruins a sibling bond (or any relationship for that matter) faster than selfishness.
While all households are different and may not contain as many children, it is still very important to have strong sibling bonds. As my Momma has said time and time again "when Momma and Daddy are gone you guys are all each other have!" In all retrospect,
a friend maybe able to loan you a dollar but a sister can give you an organ!(Smile)