I am delighted to be sharing our Parenting With Purpose guest post with you on The Educators’ Spin On It. I have been reading Kim and Amanda’s blog since well before I started my own blog. The TotSchool posts have been my favourite posts.
Add to the mix the birth of our twins and you’ve got a recipe for some interesting times!
|Quick and Easy Morning Activities Together|
The Relationship Building Activities for our Family
- Bubble blowing at the water table
- Block building
- Reading picture books
- Indoor fort building with sheets
Thank you so much Amie for sharing your story and what works to connect your children. These are great activities to engage children of all ages together. Amie’s is one of the hosts one of our favorite Link Ups, The Kids’ Co-op where we find many fun siblings activities too. Plus she shares parenting ideas in a Series called Parenting with Joy, we invite you to check out Keeping a Calm Presence and My Strong Willed Child and tell her we sent you.
For those of you that aren’t aware I also have a gap in age with my children too. Sometimes the life you plan and the life that really happens can vary. My children are 20, 6 and 2 and most definitely keep you on your toes. I had one graduating high school, starting Kindergarten and learning to walk all at the same time. Confession, it was a hard year for me emotionally but the benefits of that are priceless. My husband and his sister are 8 years apart and are very close, sometimes as siblings age the number doesn’t really exist as much anymore. As my son is off at college it’s getting harder and harder to ensure their relationships stay strong.
It’s important to find avenues of how to connect your children and also to teach them boundaries with each other. For us the struggle was homework time, so we discovered that going for an afternoon walk at that time helped. Dinner time was our biggest bonding time together, just simply sitting down and sharing that time together is and will always be important.
Now that he’s in college we are so thankful for Facetime and Google Air so that all of my kids can talk or show each other things. Sometimes it’s just a 15 minute session of my 6 year old sharing the lego structure she built or a new beaded necklace she made. Or a 2 minute moment of my 2 year old sharing a song she’s learning to sing but it connects them.
I think for us another key element was not to assume our teenager was a built in babysitter. We didn’t want him to resent his younger siblings. When the nursery was being put together he also had a more adult bedroom designed. We also spent some evening out with just him separately while the other adult stayed home with the younger ones. I think the balance is to make sure that children of any age feel that they are getting your undivided attention as a parent and that they also share their undivided attention with their siblings. Hands on Fun Activities are a great way to start!
Additional resources for Encouraging Sibling Bonding
- Create a Sibling Book
- Tips on Creating Individual Time with Each Child
- Making Time for Sibling Activities
- Drop Everything and Swing-Sharing your Time with each Child
- Waiting for a Sibling to Come Home from Hospital
[email protected] says
We also have a gap between kids (6 years) but have found many ways to connect them. I think one of the best is just the funny things they come up with together to tease their parents 🙂 and card games have also been a big hit in our house. Travel has also been a successful way to connect them as we are all experiencing someplace new (and learning) no matter what our age.
Kim, mine will be starting college and middle school the same year – and yep, I'm thinking it's going to be an emotional few months. So glad they have things like Facetime too!
Wonderful post ladies!
Amie M says
Kim, your 'Spin On It' touched my heart! You are writing from a perspective just ahead of mine. It was like looking into a crystal ball 🙂 My eldest actually had the realisation the other day that when he starts university Chook will be in formal school and the twins will be just starting! I think I have been blissfully ignorant of this fact! I am looking forward to reading your sibling bonding links 🙂 Thanks again for having us!
Ness @ One Perfect Day says
Kim and Amie these are really wonderful ideas for fostering sibling bonding. It's so easy for siblings with large age gaps to lead separate lives (there is a large age gap between my sister and I) but with a little thought and effort a really strong relationship can be built. I've featured this post on my blog this week – thanks for linking up to The Sunday Parenting Party.
BéBé Chérie says
Hello! I found your post via Ness @ One Perfect Day. Thank you for featuring this! I have an 8 year old and a newborn and I was scratching my head as how to make them bond!
I really enjoyed your post. I have a 22 year old, a 17 year old and a 2-1/2 year old. The year my little one turned 1 was also the year my oldest turned 21 and the year my daughter turned 16. it was also the year I turned 40. 🙂 It was the year of milestones 🙂