Foster More Good Moments Between Siblings

Raising children in our fast-paced, adult-oriented society is challenging enough with one child, but adding siblings to the mix brings a unique set of joys and difficulties. Sibling rivalry can quickly arise, leading to tension and conflict. However, with a few important strategies, we as parents and caregivers can nurture a loving and playful relationship between our children.

Two-Step Plan to Prepare Your Older Child for a New Baby

Take a moment to notice

Siblings naturally want to get along. They want to have fun with each other. Oftentimes though, their playful and cooperative moments often go unnoticed amidst the hustle and bustle of daily life. As parents, we are so relieved to have things going well between our children that we don’t notice the details of the generous and flexible moments between them. We use the times that go well between them to get our housework, phone calls or schoolwork done.

However, if you can pause and look carefully, you’ll begin to see instances of sharing, assistance, and thoughtfulness that you might have missed before. These moments can be fleeting, sometimes occurring just a split-second before a conflict arises, but they are genuine and significant. So if and when you can, make a conscious effort to be present and observant when your children are interacting.

Recognizing these positive interactions is important for nurturing a healthy sibling relationship. Paying attention to the good moments helps children feel valued and understood and lays the foundation for lifelong relationships built on mutual respect and love.

Celebrating even the fleeting moments of sibling harmony also allows us as parents to breathe and soak in the good times, which will support us when challenging moments come.


Despite what follows, those few seconds of cooperation and thoughtfulness were an effort and an achievement. Your appreciation of the positive interactions is a help to your children’s relationship.

Specific affirmations like “Jacquie, thanks for bringing your sister the brush. Now can you let her do her hair herself?” acknowledge the effort to help and promote a sense of being seen and appreciated. Even if the follow-through isn’t perfect, the initial act of kindness is real and worthy of recognition.

When we take the time to appreciate these acts of kindness, the siblings notice them too, and they get to rest in the love and caring they have for each other. In time, you might even notice your children appreciating each other’s acts of kindness.

Use play and games

Siblings can often get upset as they feel like they don’t get enough of the attention they crave for, or their siblings are getting more, so they end up feeling in competition with each other for your attention.

One effective way to tackle this is by having them team up against you in play.

For example, you could gather all the pillows and build yourself a “nest” on which you then sit and make yourself comfortable, while care-free announcing, “Aaaah…. this is so relaxing! I hope no one disturbs me now…”. Of course, this will be your kids’ signal to tackle you and try to get you off the “nest”.

Or you could jump on the bed and say “Kids, up, quick, the floor is lava! I hope no one pushes me off the bed though!”. This is a clear invitation for your children to team up against you, trying to push you off the bed. Your job is to make sure to put up a good fight, yet against all odds, they somehow manage to be victorious together!

Having children compete together against you fosters sibling friendship and is way more beneficial for their relationship than competing against each other for your time and attention.

If you’d love more playful ideas to tackle sibling rivalry, check out this article. And if you’re looking for connection-boosting games to play with kids of all ages, this article is for you.


This article is part of our “Ultimate Sibling Rivalry Survival Guide” which is FREE to download here.

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