We all have some strife in our homes that we would love to remove. What we all need more of is tips on how to create friends in siblings to help remove some of that strife and increase the joy of parenting within our homes again. Many years ago, when I first started my journey as a parent, my husband and I decided that we were going to be diligent in creating friendships in our children and these are the steps we took to do that.
How to Create Friends in Siblings
My husband and I both have stories about our older siblings being… well physical in their actions toward us. We both agreed that we were not going to have this in our home… willingly!
As our two older ones were around 2 and 4, the physical nature started. I was shocked because we weren't going to have this and it already started at an early age. My problem solving nature kicked in and I went looking for a permanent fix to these actions that was very familiar to my husband and I… the very things we were trying to keep out of our ‘wonderful' family.
We decided to look for scriptures to help us in raising our children in a way that will help us to ‘keep their hands off each other in anger‘. I didn't find exactly what I search for, but what I did find was a lot about friends and I began to realize that my closest friend growing up, Kimmie, was like a sister to me. We got upset with each other at times, but we NEVER hit each other.
This all began to make sense to me, I need to build friends, not siblings!
This one verse was our core in the training… Proverbs 18:24 “A man that hath friends must show himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticks closer than a brother.”
Oh my goodness! This was an epiphany for me and maybe to you. Jesus was the only other thing that was closer to us than our brother!
Here are the steps I took, as the main care giver to our children, as we worked to create friends in siblings:
- That day I used Proverbs 18:24 as a weapon against strife in our home.
- I began to quote, Ephesians 4:26 “Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath.”
- My children were told that they were each others best friends and I would tell them what best friends do for each other.
- We learned about the relationship of Jonathan and David (I need to teach this one to my 10 year old! I love how blogging helps me stay accountable.) Read I Samuel 18 – 20 (or further) to read the relationship between these men! This is a PERFECT example of what a sibling relationship should look like!
- We learned John 15:13, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”
- We shared what the Bible says about strife and that pride and envy is the root of it.
- We always got to the root of a situation, working pass the reaction (like hitting, etc.) but the reason a child reacted. Many times we would find that there was someone who was ‘stirring up strife‘. (Proverbs 6:19) If you can eliminate the instigator, you will be able to calm the child who tends to become angry and acting out.
- I would intervene immediately when strife started, because I wanted to remove the habit that was forming in my children.
- I would have my children hug, without stopping, until I could see they they could show love to each other and apology with sincerity.
- I would have them sit on opposite sides of the room, in silence, until they have time to gain self-control and I would always share what is expected of them by God, if they choose to obey His word and walk in His ways, to receive His rewards.
Finally, I needed to work on ME! I needed to learn how to deal with my own temperament and learn how to calm down before acting. Not that I was going around hitting people, but because I need to mirror to my children what is proper and expected in our home. I'm still fighting this fight, but praising the Lord for the amount of road that I have covered in correcting this natural flaw in my human flesh.
I pray that these tips will encourage you in your daily working within your home, to create in your children the desire to be ‘best friends'! Truly this is something worth the effort and so rewarding when in their late teens, they still cherish each other enough to share their day with them with JOY!