Not all siblings get on. In my coaching experience, I would say not many do! Children complain about the way their brothers and sisters treat them or say that they invade their privacy. They take things without asking, or they say they just don’t feel they have anything in common with their sibling.
It takes a lot of work from the parents to get them to appreciate each other and to have a relationship where they are at least civil. But, it is also down to the children themselves.
How to Bring Siblings Closer Together
There are ways to encourage siblings to get on better and to encourage mutual respect. They may require patience and may not always run smoothly, but can be a useful life lesson.
Parents can get their children to do jobs together where the oldest one takes the lead. Perhaps they make dinner together or take the dog for a walk. The older one could read to the younger one or help them with some homework or do a sport together. Getting them in the same room talking is what is needed. Particularly when there’s a bigger age gap and they are at different ages and life stages.
Parents could also make sure that their children talk to each other at dinnertime and be interested in what each other is saying. Create rules around communication and co-operation for the children, such as being respectful, inclusive and kind. Make sure that they follow them.
Sometimes, siblings will need a break from each other, especially if tempers are frayed and they’ve spent too much time together. Give them time to cool off and do their own thing rather than it descending into an argument.
Children need to take responsibility for their actions and realise that they are stuck with their siblings, therefore they may as well make an effort to get along. Just being conscious of this can help create a less volatile and shouty atmosphere at home.