The bond between siblings is a love like no other but DNA isn’t always enough to guarantee a friendship. Siblings grow up together and share experiences and memories that they don’t have with anyone else. Theirs can be the longest relationship and first real friendship in your child’s life. As a parent, you want to do everything you can to help your children grow up happy so we’ve rounded up some top tips to help raise 1st friends.
Start them early
Before a new sibling is even born, help your child to get excited about their new little companion. Let them feel included as you prepare for your new arrival and tell them all about their important role as an older sibling. To help your child to understand the changes happening within your family, give them a special doll to look after themselves. Encourage them to look after the doll as you do your new baby and teach them to care for and nurture the doll like their little sibling. Our rag dolls can be personalised with your child’s name for a gift that will make them feel extra special.
Treat them fairly
We’ve all been there: you have your first baby and you want to do everything in your power to protect them… but then baby number 2 comes along and a lot of those strict rules go out the window. It’s easy to treat your children differently without realising it, but they definitely will. A lot of tension between siblings is rooted in competing for their parents’ attention, so make time for some special one-on-one time between you and your little ones.
Plan their playtime
To make the most of the time they spend together, plan your children’s shared play around their routines. This may sound obvious but setting up for slime-time with two cranky kids in need of a nap won’t end well. Try and pick activities they both enjoy or can learn together as they continue to grow up. When they’re too little to play together, start with parallel play until they are old enough to understand taking turns and sharing. Pick out toys that are suitable for a range of ages such as our Puppy, Mouse or Monkey soft toys. Personalise it with a name they’ve chosen together and teach them to share and care for it as a team.
Let them be friends
The most important thing that you can do as a parent to foster a friendship between your children is to let it happen. Provide your children with the tools they need to communicate and be empathetic to one another but step back once they’ve figured it out. Let them have fights and secrets and to develop their friendship outside of just being siblings. Their bond will strengthen and you’ll know that they’re friends because they want to be, not because they have to be.