Parenting

How to develop affection, love and respect between sisters?

Sapna Gupta
7 to 11 years

Created by
Updated on Dec 16, 2015

I am mother of two daughters - age 9 yrs and 5 yrs. I want that they should have great love and affection to each other. But many times they argue a lot. Elder one always tend to scold her and show her seniority. Younger one does not consider herself younger and answer in harsh tone and then start complaining. But when it comes to some common interest like play/chocolate, they behave like ideal sisters. Many times I felt that elder one is imitating me when I scold but I do it rarely and she follows it always. If I don't scold they will not listen at all. I tried to set some good examples but that works for very short time. Kindly suggest how I cultivate affection and make them soft spoken and polite.

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Carol

| Dec 17, 2015

Hi Sapna, From what you have described, I infer that your elder one is bullying your younger one. So the younger one has found a way to protect herself i. e using harsh words. when she fails, she starts to complain. Generally the children of age 3 to 6, forget the fight very easily and they patch up fast. But if this bullying goes on, after few years it can build up anger in the little one. So you could have some strict rules that are applicable for both sisters 1. Do not break or destroy things that belong to your sister or the things that are made by your sister. 2. teasing is fine as long as you don't go over the line. So strictly no humiliation, no name calling. 3. Don't try to put down your sister for her failure / any small achievements out of jealousy. 4. Compliment each other even for a small achievement. 4. Protect your sister from bullies from outside. Don't join them to humiliate your sister 5. Respect your sister's privacy and don't interfere if she wants to be left alone. 6. Don't let your sister take the fall when you have done something wrong. Be brave to accept your mistakes and come up clean. 7. No tattling unless you foresee that someone is going to get hurt. 8. Don't demand to be first. The one who demands will go last. 9. Don't fight over one thing like toy,book, remote etc. Take turns. If you don't take turns, none would get it. 10 Don't give orders to your sister. Do your job on your own unless it requires some teamwork. Put up this list of rules on the fridge and/or in their room and keep reminding them. You should also have some rule for yourself. 1. Don't compare them 2. Dont be partial or protective of one over the other 3. For any school performance or event in which one of them is participating, make the other one to attend it 4. Give them the chance to resolve their issues on their own. 5. Hold both of them responsible if any of their rules are broken.

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Shikha Batra

| Dec 17, 2015

Hi Sapna! It's indeed frustrating having to deal with everyday tussles between kids. It drains away all energies plus leaves u with fear of future, what if this continues then also. Sapna let me tell u, this is every parent's concern as sibling rivalry is a natural and normal part of growing up. As they grow their relationship goes through many phases where they come closer and drift apart only to again come close. it is advisable not to take stress and don't interfere much when they are having an argument unless it turns ugly and leads to aggressive behavior. Having said that u could try some methods to bring them close. 1. If an argument is going on between both kids, responsibility lies on both so both should get equal share of love or rebuke. Make sure same treatment is meted out with both, as supporting one and scolding another would further reinforce feeling of jealousy. 2. Do not entertain complaints from them about each other. Let them sort out their own issues amicably and let them know if the matter is not solved between them and it reaches u again,both will meet equal consequences which might amount to taking away priveleges,helping in household chores or no fun activity for that particular day. 3. Create opportunities where one is supposed to help other. Say on weekends they can do cooking without fire where u can delegate work to both according to their capabilities with Consensus and they help each other . Or elder one can read out bedtime stories to Lil one at night and make her sleep. Or Lil one can help elder one in arranging things. 4. Bring games which cannot be played alone and they need to play with each other or duet dance on a song. 5. Give responsibilities to elder one to help Lil one in feeding or dressing up. 6. Praise when they do special gestures for each other like making cards or support each other. 7. Tell them stories which focus on strengthening this bond as the message. 8. Bring them same clothes in their respective sizes. 9. Display a collage on the wall with their pics sharing special moments together from childhood till now. Say elder one holding Lil one in lap. 10. When u go out,tell both of them to take care of each other or hold hands. 11. Involve one in doing something special for other one and let her know how her sister made efforts to make u feel special. Don't forget to take pics of such special moments. 12. Ensure they dont sleep angry with each other and there is always a patch up between them by the end of the day. hope this helps!

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