This past Mother’s Day, I did something very intentional. I signed my children and I up for a 5K walk in support of my oldest child’s hospital. One of my ways of relieving stress is taking part in 5K walks/run. It’s my “me” time, but on this day I invited my children into my world. Then, I went one step further by asking my daughters’ best boy friend and his family to join us. We rolled across the finish line at one hour and twenty minutes with four happy and laughing children.
I could have easily left my children behind and enjoyed the time by myself, plus got a better time on the clock, but this Mother’s Day, it wasn’t about me. My oldest child has a major disability, so there aren’t many activities that my children can do together, but this 5K was something they could do together and I wanted them this be a bonding time between them.
Creating the moments and memories that will make for shared experience of siblings as they grow is become more and more lost in the hustle and bustle of our culture today. If you feel like your family could use a little bonding time, here are some tips that I do to intentionally promote sibling bonding:
5 Tips to Help Siblings Bond
1. Make family time a priority! Write it on the calendar! If it’s not in my date book, it doesn’t happen. With all the meetings, practices and classes that grow our children as individuals, but requires time apart, it is important we set aside time when our families can be together.
2. Look for fun, cost-effective and age-spanning activities to do together. You can find them in your local papers or on social media sites. Local fairs and farmer’s markets. Nature hikes and bike trails. Picnics and parks. Every community has something to offer. One great activity for families is to look for ways to serve together…cleaning up a local park, working a few hours on Saturday at a local food pantry, helping a neighbor.
3. Take a walk! Family walks are a great way to get exercise in and bond together, and they are as cost-effective as you can get! Make it a nightly ritual to walk the neighborhood after dinner. And then, like we did, try to do some charity walks as a family.
4. Make them share a room. Maybe you have enough bedrooms for everyone to have their own, but I bet you’ll find your kids, especially your little ones, enjoy being together. Yes, maybe it leads to a few minutes of giggles and whispers after lights out, but that is where their memories together are made.
5. Encourage them to serve each other. My situation is unique with the special needs that my oldest child has, but by everyone helping in that care, it strengthens the bond we have as a family. This can be promoted in any family with something as simple & fun as an “Act of Kindness” jar. Have the kids fill it with their ideas of nice things they could do for one another, and then create daily or weekly chances for them to pull out a slip and put love into action.
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