How Your Own Sibling Relationships Can Impact Your Children’s Sibling Relationships

 

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Me and Rodney 1975

 

I’ll admit, I am about to way oversimplify an issue about complex family dynamics. There are people who spend years in therapy unraveling the impact from the next few points. That said, there are some fairly obvious ways your own sibling relationships, from growing up and from current exchange, can impact your children’s sibling relationships. While it may not be as direct in your family, still worth stepping back and checking the big picture.

Your expectations from childhood – How you got along with your siblings can shape your expectations for how your children will get along. My brother and I got along great and I expected my children would get along. My husband and his siblings not so much. He is still surprised by the way our children get along.

Your current sibling relationships – Through your current sibling relationships you are modeling how to treat and interact with siblings. How much you keep in touch, how you greet each other, the time you spend together and how you move through disagreements are all modeling to children about sibling relationships.

How you speak to and about your siblings – How you speak to and about your siblings models to children how to speak to and about their siblings. If you put down your siblings, complain about them, or critique their decisions often it opens the door for this to be how they speak to and about their siblings.

Your tolerance for behaviors shaped by what you experienced – A mother of three was teary eyed asking how to stop her children from bickering. Her question started “I just can’t take their bickering. There was constant bickering in my house growing up…” Yes, healthy goal for her children to bicker less. Also healthy to recognize some level of bickering is normal and find ways to lessen her carried-over stress about the remainder.

 

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