Friday, August 12, 2016

Sibling Bonds

Growing up, I always loved having siblings. Sure, we fought with each other and vied for our parents' attention, yet all my happy memories are with my siblings. Every birthday, Christmas, vacation, funny moment-- they were there. Now as adults, they are some of my dearest friends.

This is literally the cutest photo we have every taken. I'm not planning 
to ever show any new photos because we are not nearly this cute anymore.

After Tessa was born, I was so excited for Eli to have a sibling. I couldn't wait for the bond my siblings and I had to develop between them. I had those idyllic visions of them being best friends and holding hands all the time. But I have to be honest, they fight all. the. time. Not a day goes by without someone (Eli) pushing or someone (Tessa) screeching at their sibling. We have a lot of time outs and a lot of "sorry"s at our house.

This will probably be on our Christmas card this year.

But you guys, they LOVE each other. This sweet bond has begun to develop that is so precious to watch. Watching them fall in (sibling) love with each other has been incredible as a parent.

Tessa looks like she's planning to be super naughty, and Eli
looks like he has a secret. I have only fuzzy memory of what happened
next but I'm fairly certain somebody pushed somebody.

For Christmas this year my brother bought me the book Siblings without Rivalry (the irony! I know!).  I started reading it right after Christmas and found immediate, practical help. I've so appreciated Faber and Mazlish's wisdom on this topic. A major portion of the book focuses on you as the parent. I always figured my kids relationship was up to them, with me hoping and cheering on the sidelines. But the book takes a different path, challenging me as a parent.

I compare my children more than I'd like to admit. I imagine if you are a parent, you do too. I am often afraid that I am not treating them equally. Am I favoring one over other? Faber and Mazlish push this to the side, arguing "Children don't need to be treated equally. They need to be treated uniquely." And then, the authors push you to focus on bigger skills, those broader ideas that funnel down into good sibling relationships. They write, "Instead of worrying about [your children] becoming friends... [begin] to think about how to equip them with the attitudes and skills they'd need for all the caring relationships."

This book is practical, truthful, and relatable. The authors' honesty helps you feel like you really can make good relationships happen. In the words of Kathleen Kelly, "Read it! You'll love it!"

THIS is the framer. Love them.

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