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Having a sibling to laugh, love, play and fight with, is one of the best gifts ever. Whether your kids are just inseparable or have a considerable age difference, it’s important to teach them to love, respect and understand one another right from the start. In this conversation with Mummy Blogger Ruchi Verma, we’re talking about how you can help encourage a healthy and loving relationship between your kids. Don’t forget to leave a comment at the end on what kind of tactics you follow to encourage lots of hugs, kisses and love between your kids!
Meet Ruchi, mom to two naughty but adorable kids - Ira and Viraj. How does she manage to keep the peace between her energetic and mischievous kids? Read on to find out.
Q. They say everything changes when you have a child. You have 2! What’s changed?
Ans. My life turned upside down! I transitioned from the corporate world into the role of a ‘domestic engineer’ with a 24/7 job 😊. But I have no regrets. My kids have changed my perception that being a Mom is an easy job. I believe it is the most challenging one but with the MOST benefits!
Q. How many years apart were your kids born? Do you think age difference matters when it comes to sibling bonding?
Ans. There is a 6-year gap between my kids. Yes, the gap does matter when it comes to certain things but I think that no matter the age difference, the bond between siblings goes above and beyond that and is strong regardless of the gap in years.
Q. A lot of children experience feelings of jealousy/resentment when a new child comes into the family. Did you ever experience this with your little one?
Ans. The story of how my children came to bond with one another is an unusual one. My younger child Viraj was born prematurely in my 25th week of pregnancy, i.e. when I had just completed my 6th month. He had a lot of complications and the doctors were not sure he would even make it. But my daughter always stayed positive with a smile on her face and was sure that he would come home. After 2 months of fighting for his life, we brought Viraj home. So right from the start, Ira became very attached to him and is extremely caring towards him. Now that Viraj is growing, my husband and I also make a conscious effort to give equal time to Ira and spend time listening to her so that both of them know they are equally loved. We encourage them to play together and stay together 😊.
Q. What kind of activities do your kids usually enjoy doing together? Can you share a story where they teamed up and did something cute/funny?
Ans. They play all kinds of games together. Viraj loves pretending to cook with his little kitchen set so they make us give them a menu and then bring us food in their tiny dishes. One time, they were playing with Ira’s favourite bone-china tea-set. When Viraj got up to serve us, he slipped and the cup he was holding broke. Ira was in tears and started complaining that Viraj was always careless and that we (Mummy & Daddy) should scold him for that. I was about to explain it to Viraj when Ira quickly interrupted saying, “Let it be, Mumma. He is my younger brother and he’s so small. Don’t scold him.” I thought that was very cute. One moment she was angry, but the next moment, she was back to loving her little brother.
Q. How do you play referee and deal with the situation when the kids fight with one other?
Ans. I try not to interfere most of the time and let them resolve it on their own. If that doesn’t happen, then I intervene and ask them to sit in separate rooms, think about their behaviour and then talk to one another only when they are calm once again.
Q. Do you have any siblings? What lessons did you learn from your own parents when it comes to managing a sibling relationship?
Ans. Yes! I have 3 sisters and I remember my parents always told us that “If you put 5 sticks together then no one can break you but 1 stick on its own can be broken easily.” I am passing the same lesson on to my kids. I feel so connected to my own sisters that I can always tell when something is wrong, just by the tone of their voice.
Q. What are your top 3 tips for encouraging a healthy and loving relationship between siblings?
1. Teach your kids to stand by one another and support one another through good times and bad. It is this support that will set the basis for a great relationship all through their lives.
2. Don’t take sides but gently correct the kids if they are wrong. Help them understand what they’ve done wrong and how their behaviour affects others. Be gentle yet firm.
3. Each child has a different way of thinking. Take the time to actually listen to them before coming to a conclusion and try and see things from their child-like perspective.
(About Ruchi: She is a firm believer of the thought “sharing knowledge is gaining knowledge”, which led her to start her blog www.wigglingpen.com where she writes about life and happiness!)
Have some interesting tips or stories of your little ones to share? Please comment below, we would love to hear from you