A Divided Victory

EJ hersom

Abner Mariaca Diaz, Writer

“It’s one thing to fend off siblings battles over a toy. It’s often a more elusive challenge to raise children who genuinely like each other and will choose to support each other throughout their lives,” says Laurie Kramer, a clinical psychologist and professor at Northeastern University and founder of the More Fun With Sisters and Brothers program to the New York Times.

All leaders, the corrupt or straight politicians, the doctors, and the homeless– these are all people born first in a family or lack thereof. A society’s success or fall is greatly determined by its care and strengthening of its families. Creating healthy and loving families is more than just raising brothers and sisters who can stand to be around each other, but it’s also teaching our kids to become unconditional friends.

“Look for ways your own children enjoy spending time together, such as puzzles, video games or soccer, and make those shared activities in shared spaces part of your family routine,” suggests Dr. Kramer. If you teach your kids to work together and play together, it will build a bond between them that will make them go from blood siblings to friends who share trust and face adversity together. “Give them chores they can complete together as a team, and encourage them to have fun together,” suggested Kramer.

Teaching your kids to love their family, however, does not only consists of having them do. First comes the example. “One of the most important actions parents can take is to model the kind of relationship you want your children to have and the behavior you’d like to see,” Kramer reminds. Don’t forget little ones look up to their grown-ups. They like to notice everything around them and mimic what they see. So if you want your kids to love, show them, love. If you show them hate, they will hate. “If you’re hoping to raise children who treat each other respectfully and choose kindness, ensure your own behavior toward others sets that standard consistently,” said Kramer.