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A winner and sibling love (again!)

Happy Friday everyone!  First things first – the Stella and Dot giveaway!  Winner is… Shannon in PA!  (Chosen by the random number generator)

Shannon said:

Hi, Erin! 
I have only heard good things about S&D jewelry and would love to win the necklace! It’d be great as an everyday staple in my wardrobe!
Thanks for considering me.
Shannon in PA

Congratulations Shannon!  E-mail me (address is on my sidebar) and I’ll have the necklace sent your way!

So!  I have about 5,784 pictures that I need to sort through and organize and post but I can’t tonight!  We have an early morning meeting with several people at the new house tomorrow (all of our bathroom tile is arriving!) and I have a lot of stuff to go over tonight to get ready for it.  So until next week (when I attempt to post 5,784 pictures) I am going to leave you with a re-run of my “Sibling Love” post since a few people have stopped by from our little news appearance looking for it.  I should have re-posted it sooner!  Have a fabulous weekend everyone!


Hi friends!  Today I am finally addressing a question that has popped up so many times.  Questions that are all similar to these:

How do you raise your girls to be so sweet to each other?  Is there anything you did in particular when they were really little that ensured they would be so close and get along so well?

Your girls are darling!  Do they fight with each other?  How do you help them be such good friends?

If you’ve read my blog for a while you know that my two girls are thick as thieves.  I have loved getting  asked this question because it has really made me stop and think – what am I doing that has helped to create such a great relationship between my girls?  My girls have completely different personalities (as most siblings do!) and yes – they do fight (as all siblings do!).  Obviously it helps that they are close in age and share a lot of the same interests, but I do think that there are things you can do as a parent to help foster and encourage loving relationships between your kids.  Here are a few things I’ve done that I believe has helped my girls become the inseparable duo that they are today.  :)

1-  Keep a low key schedule with lots of down time for your kids to play with each other.  As much as I love to socialize and to be out and about, I also crave down time every day.  I love to be home with all of my kids home with me.  Quiet family time.  I need it so that I can stay on top of my house and things that are important to me.  My kids need it so that they can spend quality, uninterrupted time together.  No TV.  No play dates.  No running around from one activity to another.  Just time at home to be creative and play.  My girls spend SO much time at home with each other.  They have become each other’s best friend simply because I have given them no other option!  :)

2 – Teach your children how special sibling relationships are.  I tell my girls all the time how lucky they are to have each other.   Another way that I reinforce this is through my scrapbooks and photo albums.  For Valentines day a couple of years ago I made my girls a photo book called “Sisters” (you can see the whole book here)

This book is so simple and was easy to make.  Just pictures of them and little tidbits about how close they are and all of the things they love to do together.  We read this book often and it is a constant reminder to them of how special their relationship is.  This is one example of a visual way to teach siblings that they are lucky to have each other.  We also talk about our relationships.  Sometimes at dinner I’ll ask my kids random questions about their day and about each other.  For example:  “Ellie – what is one thing you love about Addison?” … oh I love that about her too!”  or “Addison, did you get to see Ellie at school today? … I bet that was fun!”

3 – When your kids do fight, teach them how to compromise and work it out together.  We talk A LOT about compromise at our house.  I am always saying to my girls “what can we do that will be fair for everyone?”  or “How can you two work this out together?”  Then I give them a chance to come up with the answer.  Often with a little prompting, I can get them to solve their own disagreements.  If not, I quickly solve things for them by saying that if they don’t stop fighting we will be done playing and move on to our chores or bedtime.  If they are fighting over a certain toy, I tell them that if they can’t work something out that is fair, the toy will be taken away and neither of them will get to play with it.  That usually does the job.  :)

4 – Use behavior charts to help encourage positive attitudes towards each other and no fighting.  Not long ago I shared my star behavior charts which have always been a huge motivator for my girls to have positive attitudes towards each other and to not fight.  Having something set up like this where siblings are rewarded for being kind to each other and not fighting is a great way to encourage your kids to get along.

5 – Give positive praise when you see your kids getting along and being kind to each other.  This one is HUGE!  Positive reinforcement is such a powerful tool.  I look for opportunities all the time to praise my girls for getting along or being kind to each other.  I’ll say things like “Ellie, I love the way you are playing so nicely with Addison and letting her use your doll.  What a good big sister you are.”  Or “Addison, that was such a sweet thing to say to Ellie.  I bet that made her feel so happy!”  Comments like this always make my girls smile.  They feel special and proud of themselves and it encourages them to continue to do nice things for each other in the future.

6 – Teach by example.  I am really close to my siblings and my kids have definitely picked up on this.  I tell them stories all the time about things we did together and how much fun we had with each other when we were little.  My girls also see that I prioritize spending time with them now.  When my sister had her baby and I flew out to visit and help, I explained to my girls that they will do things like that for each other when they get older.  Teach your kids that no matter what, siblings are always there for each other.  
(me and my siblings)

Seeing the way my kids love each other is one of my favorite things about being a mom. 

Sibling love. 
 Nothing quite compares.  :)
I would love to hear from you!  
Any other tips for teaching your kids to love each other and get along?  
xoxo, Erin
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7 thoughts on “A winner and sibling love (again!)

  1. Hi Erin,
    I love this post – again:) (I remember reading it before & enjoyed it then too)

    I love how you encourage your children to get on with each other. I especially agree with “down time.” These days Children’s days are so jam-packed that they don’t have much free time to just play & be children.

    Do you also find that Choosing The Right questions are helpful? Especially as the girls are both in CTR classes? Do they have ctr rings, or like most children, do they usually lose them?:)

    Even tho I don’t have children I found this post really useful.

    Thank you for your great example & blog:)

    Cheerio from chilly UK.

  2. So glad you guys are getting closer to your move-in day!!! :)

    I feel like I’ve been really lucky because my kids LOVE each other. I do some of the things you mentioned – but mostly I just think it’s the temperament of my oldest, who has always been the protector of her little sisters, and she sets the stage for the ways siblings interact in our family. She is very kind, and laid back (in some ways).

    I think one thing that has helped a ton is that my kids share a room (a very small room) – and we also spend a lot of time together (we don’t have any family nearby). So- a lot of the time, they just play together.

    I used to have more playdates with other kids, but I noticed that one of mine was always being left out- so I had to stop that because nothing gets in the way of the sibling love. ;-)

    Here is the post I wrote recently about that very thing! LOL

  3. “Teach by example” My favorite way to teach. I honestly believe that this is one tool that works in many areas of raising your children.

    My son and Elle were so close. I also believed that spending family time with no interruptions was a key tool in their love for each other. My son was so protective of Elle. Even though he is gone, she always refers to him as, “her best friend.” I watch her do the same with her babies. I can see myself in her sometimes. It makes me proud and It melts my heart.

    I am proud of many things that I have done in my life. But, my greatest accomplishment are my children, their closeness and the love they had for one another.

    You are a great mommy Erin. Some day, you to will look back and know that your biggest accomplishment was being a mommy, and raising best friends. There is no better joy in life.

    Loved this post again!

  4. I so agree about the downtime. So often kids are too scheduled with activities, and I really don’t think it’s good for the family.

  5. I love this post! (Loved it the first time I read it, too!) I have a little boy (5) and two little girls (3 and 1) and it’s interesting to see the dynamic with all the different personalities. I SO agree and love your advice about just staying home! My kids come up with the most fun things to play, usually involving lots of blankets, pillows, and couch cushions. My house is a mess because of it, but I love that they are making memories together!

    I love your blog! Thank you!

  6. Thanks Julie! Always so fun to hear from you! And yes – girls have CTR rings tucked away in their jewelry boxes. :)

    Erika – I feel the same way about playdates! Sometimes the friend would get left out because my girls would just play together! :)

    Thanks Cathy! You are so sweet to say that.

    Thanks so much Tiffany! My kids are the same way! Blanket forts and pillow tents pop up around our house on a regular basis. :)

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