I believe wholeheartedly that you can foster a strong sibling bond between your children. Now I may be seeing this through my lens. Which honestly might look picture perfect on the outside at least. While this may seem impossible some days or not even feasible for your specific children just hear me out on this.
My children love each other. They truly miss each other when one is away doing something, they look for each other first thing in the morning and they don’t go to bed without giving hugs and “sissy kisses.” Sometimes I have to wonder if that’s strictly because of how we have fostered their relationship or because they naturally just get along.
We were dealt with basically the best hand when it comes to older siblings. My oldest is a sweet girl with a strong sense of nurturing. Truth be told, she is genuinely one of the nicest people I know. I don’t say that just to toot my own horn. I’m talking good to the core, feels all the feelings and is just kind natured. Now she has her moments and learns along the way but overall, we could not have been luckier with our first born.
Did this set us up for success with number 2? Did this help in being able to create this bond?
Maybe. But when I tell you I talked up her brother before he was born and during the first year till I was blue in the face. I truly did. When I was pregnant, everything we did I would mention doing it with a baby. Initially, I just did it to prepare her for not being the center of our universe. I realized later that I wanted it to be more.
If we were out doing something fun I would say “Wow this is so fun. Won’t it be great to do this with your brother here one day? Wouldn’t you love to share this with him?” She didn’t always say yes to sharing with him but eventually, she did. I would do this over and over with all kinds of scenarios and finally, she started doing it back. She would suggest what she could do for him or how she wished he would be there already. Her love for her sibling was born before she even met him. When that day finally came and it all clicked is easily the warmest my heart has ever been.
So now what if it was different. What if they were so opposite they never stood a chance to get along?
Well, they are different, so that argument is hard for me to counter. All children are not created equal and what works for one will most certainly not work for the other. As a former preschool teacher, I could not know this to be truer. I have seen it in the classroom and in my home as my children are both growing into their own people. Just this morning my youngest busted his lip, stood right up and kept walking with blood dripping from his face. He just said ouch and kept walking. An hour later my oldest bit her lip and we spent the next 30 minutes talking about how she wasn’t going to die and that an ice pack would do the trick. They are SO not the same and neither are most siblings. What one loves the other surely will not but what you can create as a common ground is their love for each other.
They won’t always share or get along.
I know this. If they were both boys or both girls they would even have a whole other set of discrepancies as they grow up together. They will have spats and won’t see eye to eye every day but in the end, I hope they can disagree and move on.
As an only child myself I knew from the beginning of this motherhood journey that we were meant for more than one. If it was a possibility I wanted it to be a reality. Even if we have a larger gap than most I want my children to be close. There are few things I love more than watching my children love each other. I don’t need them to get along all of the time but when they don’t I know that they have a strong bond at the core of their beings that was built up at an early age. All I can do now is continue to foster that relationship and hope it never goes away.
So even if your children don’t always get along or even if they only get along 10 percent of the day. At the end of the day pour yourself a glass of wine or eat a piece of chocolate and try to remember that they do love each other. Somewhere between the hair pulling, body slamming and screaming matches they really do love each other and you can remember that you are fostering that strong sibling bond.