Photos of siblings wearing matching costumes and hugging each other before the Christmas tree isn’t always the true story. In truth, siblings and their parents have to go through a lot to reach loving, peaceful, and considerate relationships. It takes a long time before siblings can accept each other fully. But if there’s one thing that will fill in the gaps as early as when they are kids, it is the mindful approach of parents to parenting.
It is the fact of life that siblings will argue. Many of them will get into physical fights. How many times have you seen yourself or other parents break out a fight where the participants are all bloody and angry? These things can turn hateful when the parents aren’t careful about how they approach the relationships.
Time, Sports, Bonding
Siblings tend to grow apart when their ages are too far apart. And when the age gaps are too narrow, they fight and are less patient with each other. So, where do parents stand? Parents need to actively involve their kids in the lives of each other. That means spending time together watching a movie or playing sports or doing other bonding activities.
Parents must do what they can to bring the family together, even if it involves making each other wear matching clothes and costumes. Are your kids into sports like soccer? One of the best ways to show your support as a family is to wear custom soccer scarves you can find online. Wearing one of your kid’s team colors is a great way to show your unity as a family. When your kids look at the stand, seeing the rest of the family as a cohesive unit will boost their morale.
But really, what is mindful parenting outside from making a conscious effort to spend time as a family? As a parent, you can react instinctively to your emotions. And that sometimes leads to ill feelings among your children. When you see someone getting bullied by the others, your initial reaction is to protect the one getting bullied and reprimand the rest of your children.
Although this is an instinct that kicks in when parents see their children on the losing end, you must be mindful enough to never take sides. The worst thing that parents can do when their kids are arguing is to take sides. Or, at the very least, to look like you are taking sides.
Mindful parenting is about having control of your emotions by knowing exactly when these emotions can hurt your children and wedge division among them. You cannot force your children to resolve their conflicts. That is not what mindful parenting is about. Rather, you should give them the space and time they need to want to talk about their issues and mend fences with their siblings.
Coaching Children to Do Conflict Well
As a parent, you can never eradicate arguments and conflicts completely. These are part of the relationships of siblings. What you can do is learn how to coach the children to do conflict well. While some fights turn to name-calling and physical altercations, siblings who know how to argue and do conflict well will not turn away from each other. Rather, as much as some siblings love to argue with one another, they will learn to stand up for each other regardless of how they feel for their siblings at any point in time.
This means they consciously choose their relationships with their siblings above anything else. Sure, they can argue with one another. For a time, they might even “hate” having to share with their siblings. But no one should be allowed to speak ill of their siblings in front of them.
During an argument, aside from parents not taking anyone’s side, it is also important that they mend the relationship as soon as possible. They should talk to their children individually and remind them that such arguments are not more important than their relationships as brothers and sisters. Their relationship should stand above their differences.
Practice Makes Perfect
It takes a lot of practice and effort not to shout the instance you see your kids fighting. But such is what makes mindful parenting effective in building camaraderie and eradicating sibling rivalry among your children. You need to practice how not to let your emotions rule you. Keep a presence of mind when you break up fights, explain sides, and build bridges.
Sibling rivalries occur because your kids are vying for your attention. Do not let them feel less because you favor another. Sometimes, parents tend to be overprotective of the children they feel are less capable to defend themselves. Always watch yourself. Your children’s love and respect for one another come from what they see in you.