If you grew up with brothers and / or sisters, I need not even explain how jealousy and competition are defining moments of family life. Regardless of age, sex, abilities and talents, sibling rivalry is simply a part of life. However, there are some tactics parents can apply to help ease the natural struggle of children and empower them to feel secure and appreciative of their siblings.
Why not celebrate each different child in a sibling appreciation party? For kids who are creative and enjoy artistic projects, have them make a collage for one another. Turn the event into a mini-party with fun treats to nibble. Gather up old magazines, newspapers, photos and any other type of paper material that might be fun to cut up. If there are only two children in the family, they can make a collage for one another. If there are more than two children, they can always draw names out of a hat.
Put on some family music and let the kiddos get to work using their creativity. They can cut images and words out of the magazines and newspapers and place them on a sheet of paper, cardboard or any other display sheet. Add glitter, sparkling wrapping paper, string or even ornaments for more pizzazz. The siblings must make sure to use images and words about the unique and positive traits of their brother or sister's personality and persona. At the end of the art party, make sure each child presents their masterpiece to the family explaining why they chose certain images and phrases to showcase their sibling.
What child doesn't enjoy making a sweet treat in the kitchen? Regardless of age, kitchen time is fun for all ages. Whether mom or dad wants to attempt the homemade route or the boxed version, make a cookie or cupcake that can be decorated. Have each sibling decorate the tasty treat with items that his or her brother or sister will enjoy. Think chocolates, gum drops, red hots, colored frosting and more. You can even make up a fun song or long onto the internet and look up family songs to sing as you eat the sugary snacks. Go all out and even create hats or streamers to add to the festivities.
Using either an old or new box, have each sibling artfully decorate a box that can store little notes. Have the child cut out a little slit in the top of the box so a note can fit into the box. Make sure to decorate the box so that it can still be opened up to retrieve the contents. These creations are to be sibling prop boxes. As a family unit, decide whether you want each child to leave a note daily, weekly or monthly in the box for his or her sibling. The notes are to contain positive comments about the brother or sister such as, encouragement for an upcoming sports activity, praise for a household chore that was well done, a thank you for allowing a sibling to watch his or her show on television, a shout out of gratitude for clearing the table and doing dishes when it was not his or her turn. These little boxes of goodness are truly rewarding and boost the teamwork and mentality of the family unit.
If you are feeling super creative, go all out and plan a multiple sibling appreciation party. If there are two children in the family, this can be divided up into one hour for each child, if there are three children in the family, divide the party into half-hour segments, etc. During each phase of the party play a game and eat a treat that relates specifically to that child. For example, the first part of the party could be a hide-and-seek game with carrots and humus to celebrate a 3-year-old, the next phase of the party could be tossing water balloons around and snacking on animal crackers dipped in frosting for a 7-year-old and the end of the party could be a sack race outside with popsicles to honor the 12-year-old I the family. Regardless of activity and treat, the purpose of the party is to celebrate each child's unique age, likes and personality. Invite other family members or friends to join in on the fun!
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