You’ve seen it on television shows, you’ve seen it at the park, and you may even have seen it in your own home.  No, I’m not talking about binge eating a whole plate of brownies (never, ever done that ;)!  No, I’m talking about sibling rivalry and it’s a little subject that’s been on my mind for a little while now.  Our second little bun is about halfway cooked in the oven and we recently took this picture:

My little guy always wants in on all of our photo action but he would NOT smile for the life of him in this picture.  It was almost if he knew this was tribute to our new sibling, and this was serious stuff!  Someone commented that it looks like he’s establishing himself as the alpha child in the picture and after laughing I thought, we may be in for a ton of trouble!  I once heard that to an only child, bringing a new sibling home is like if your husband brought home a second wife.  And I sure hope that’s not true because my wonderful hubby would be out on the curb picking up his remains from being kicked out the door so fast.  I can’t really imagine it being that bad, especially if you prepare.  I’ve heard a lot of advice about having a present from the new sibling waiting for older brother at the hospital, let them help take care of them, make having a sibling cool (hang with friends who have new siblings) and a few more things that we will definitely do.  There’s a great list for ways to get siblings ready for baby here.  The thing is though, I’m not so scared of the new short term sibling relationship but of the long term relationship.  I want my kids to really love and care about each other AS they grow up and not just WHEN they grow up!

Here are my awesome siblings who I LOVE SOOOOO much!

We are at my brother’s wedding, which I think was one of the happiest days of MY life.  It was just so wonderful to see him so happy.  I love hanging out with these two, hearing about their lives, and they are truly some of my best friends.  I have always loved them fiercely, although I think the true friendship part grew much stronger as we became adults and I’m sure will get even stronger as we go through different stages of life together.  I feel like my parents did a few things when we were growing up that really fostered this relationship:

  1. They put in a lot of effort to focus on our individual interests and qualities.  We participated in a few of the same activities also did a lot of different things.  My sister, being half Tongan, did a lot of Polynesian Dance.  It was something that was unique to her that we supported her in.  My brother did a ton of skiing with my dad and while I did snow sports as well, he and my dad were pros and did a ton of fun things together on the slopes.  There was no comparing in these areas because we all did different things.
  2. My parents also made sure we supported each other in the different activities we were involved in.  We went to each others concerts, soccer games, dance recitals, and even games that I cheered at.  Simply knowing I had four supporters in the crowd was always awesome.
  3. Th last thing is that we have always prayed for each other.  Whenever one of us was going through a hard time, my parents would ask the rest of us to pray for that person.  Even when we didn’t know specifics about a situation, I was always filled with love for my family member that was struggling and I love that even know we continue to pray for each other on our own because of the pattern my parents set.

My husband and I have also talked about the importance of having fun together as a family.  Sometimes I think people come together as a family to do serious things like dinner, church, family get together, which are all very important, but maybe when we think of fun, our kids or even US turn our thoughts to quickly to friends and not each other.  We want to make sure our family plays together and I believe this will make a huge difference in the relationship our children have with one another.

In most cases, you’re siblings will be the people closest to you that you will know the longest.  Let’s work on building our kid’s relationships now!  :)

What have you done to combat sibling rivalry in your home?