Sibling Relationships

Overheard from upstairs:  “Joey, if you let me come in and play Star Wars with you, I’ll use all of the money in my piggy bank to buy you a new rocket ship next time we go to Target.”

“Kate, I’m tired.  Go play princess tea party in your room.”

“Joey, I promise I’ll clean up your entire room when we’re done…”

“Kaaaa-ate.  I said no.”

My heart broke.  Poor Kate.  She has never known life apart from her big brother—her playmate and confidant—and suddenly, he’s away at school every day and she’s here.   She really misses him.

Then, when he gets home, he’s tired from a long day—a day where he’s been learning and growing and making friends.  He just wants some downtime.  And she, on the other hand, just wants to play with him.

Unfortunately, I don’t know how to fix it.  I can’t force Joey to play with her—especially when he’s worn out and tired.  But I also can’t just ignore the fact that I have a little girl who desperately wants to be around her brother

I’ve been praying about this—and while I haven’t come up with a solution, I have come to one important realization:  My kid’s sibling relationship is essential, and, one of my jobs as their mother has to be to help them preserve it.  Because they love and need each other and I cannot let a life change like my son starting school get in the way of that.

Yesterday, when my son got home from school, I had Kate help me make him a special snack (wild animal trail mix with animal crackers and raisin “ants”) and give it to Joey.  Then, we played Uno.  The three of us.  Before long, Joey and Kate were chatting away just like old times—and ten minutes later Joey asked the question I had been waiting for:  “Kate, want to come upstairs and play Star Wars with me?”

Question:  How do you work to preserve sibling relationships?



  1. We’re going through something similar here, but it’s with the elder going away to college again and the younger staying behind.

    My kids have always been best friends, relying on one another for a lot of their support, entertainment, honing of pestering skills…having one leave the nest has left the last fledgling floundering a bit though we’re all handling it a little better than last year. :)

    I think you’ve done a great job here fostering their relationship, and you did a great job being their bridge, reminding Joey that he does enjoy Kate’s company, and showing Kate how to do something nice for Joey that was well received and rewarded. Yay, and a fistful of mom-points to you! :)

  2. So sweet- you made me tear up- and you are wise to preserve that sibling relationship. You will all be so thankful for that now and in the future. :0)

  3. At certain times of the day, I try and “do” other things around the house so my kids will have some time to play alone together without me – and they do most of the time. But I always hate it when one of them decides to start being mean to the other, just from getting tired or hungry or losing interest in what they’re doing. That’s when I step in – but up until then, it’s just so sweet!

  4. It will be hard to find advised people on this subject topic, however you seem like you are aware of exactly what you are talking about! Regards


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