YOUR SIBLING RELATIONSHIPS ARE THE LONGEST RELATIONSHIPS YOU’LL PROBABLY EVER HAVE.
If life goes according to plan, you outlive your parents with your siblings; you know your siblings long before you meet your spouse. So, it’s a bond that you have for an entire lifetime. Yet we don’t put a lot of attention and energy into it.
When we talk about the idea of creating family teams, and having a mission together as a family, one of the ways that we can do that and strengthen that is through sibling relationships, and putting energy and focus there. So, today’s episode is all about that – how can you help your kids bond together as siblings and not take for granted that beautiful relationship and what it can be and how that can ultimately lead to more possibility as a family.
Let’s raise them up right!
IN THIS EPISODE, WE COVER:
[2:13] Is It Intentional?
Not too long ago, I was reading a book that pointed out the fact that our sibling relationships are the longest relationships we’ll ever have. I don’t know why that was so eye opening and mind blowing to me because it’s so obvious. There’s really nobody else in your life with whom you have that kind of connection with, yet it’s such an underleveraged and under-thought about relationship.
We talk a lot about creating a family team and a dynamic that’s going to live out your mission both at home and in business. So if you have multiple kids, what does that relationship look like for them? Is it intentional? My kids are together 24/7 and there are plenty of days where they get in a groove and they’re playing and they’re really connected; and then there are days where they’re just fed up with each other and everybody’s in a mood. So, how can we bring more of those days that are intentional and connected and less of the days that are chaotic and crazy, because that bond really means something?
[3:56] A Teammate for Life
If your mama heart is anything like mine, the idea that our kids will be there for each other if anything happens, to support and rally around each other, is such a beautiful vision. It was such a gift in my life and it’s something that I want to give my kids, but it should go further than that.
We want them to be bonded, not just in times of trauma, but for many other reasons and possibilities too. We want them to be there for each other as a team, loyal to each other and pull together in good times and bad. One of the things that we preach all the time here is your value system, and when you go out into the world outside of the walls of your own home, the value system is usually very different. So, one of the really unique elements of being raised together in the same home is you’re steeped in the same values and you can take on the world together, whether it be in business or not.
Your kids have this amazing opportunity to become aware of the fact that they have a teammate right from the get go. And although having a teammate is automatic, the relationship isn’t. It’s something that has to be thought about, nurtured and developed.
[5:50] Connecting Individually and Creating Their Own One-on-One Time
So, how can you cultivate this sibling bond for your kids?
The first one is connecting individually with each of your kids on a regular basis. I know we’re talking about sibling relationships, but this builds the foundation for it. Kids that are secure in their relationships with the adults guiding them, won’t feel the need to fight as much and act out to get their parents attention, which can often happen through sibling relationships.
One of the things that I’ve been doing is taking Friday afternoons off, and that day is dedicated to one of my kids. Obviously, there are times throughout the week when I’m with my kids individually because that happens naturally, but this is one of the things that I do intentionally.
The second thing that a lot of people don’t think about, is the idea of creating special one-on-one time for your kids together, special outings, activities to do together that strengthen their relationships outside of the family unit so they can have their own personal bonds that aren’t dependent on the rest of the group. This allows them to have their own personal stories and relationships.
[7:52] Family Time and Fighting Fair
The third thing is taking family Sabbath, and not just in the religious sense necessarily, but sacred no-device time to connect as a family. Lately for us, Friday nights are when we turn off our phones, make a special dinner together, play a game, have a movie night, and this is something we look forward to all week. It’s like the cherry on top of a busy week. Having that intentional time together and creating that space to bond as a family without any external forces hitting you, can be a really powerful thing in relationship building.
Number four is an important one. It is through their sibling relationships that our kids can learn how to fight and learn how to fight well. I have made a conscious effort to not referee when my kids argue and instead give them chances to learn how to argue and negotiate in a healthy way with each other. Fighting is a real thing that happens in real life, so instead of always trying to shut it down, encourage them to talk about how they’re feeling and only interfere and give out consequences when it’s really necessary. Are you fighting fair? Are you fighting well, and are you ending on a positive note? That’s an important thing for our family, we don’t want to walk away, just ticked off. It’s all about what you have learned from it and how you can ultimately come back together.
[9:40] Cooperation, Family Rituals and a Family Mission Statement
Number five is encouraging cooperation over competition. Whether that’s working on a chore together or having them read a book together, give them a goal to accomplish together and let them practice the skill of working alongside someone else.
Number six is establishing family rituals. These traditions can offer a stronger family bond and allow us to make memories for our kids to be able to reflect on later in life and to remember why that bond together is so important. So, whether it’s Taco Tuesday or Saturday morning pancakes, start to weave in these little rhythms that your kids can count on together and look back on some day.
The final one is creating a family mission statement to help the entire family remember what bonds you, what connects you and why you’re in this together. This will help you identify your common goals, affirmations and values that can help you navigate some of the trickier times that you’re bound to face both individually and as a family. If you don’t know where to start, we have the perfect workbook and process for you to grab at https://luminaryleadershipco.com/truenorth.
I hope today’s episode gave you some ideas on how you can facilitate these lifelong bonds for your kids, because having siblings is such a blessing and we shouldn’t take it for granted.
If today’s episode spoke to you, make sure to subscribe and leave us a review. Come connect with me on Instagram at @elizhartke and if there’s a topic, a question or a guest you want to hear on the show or an idea you have for us, just reach out and share that.
We do this for you so the more you tell us the more we can serve!
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