It is never too early to start building a positive relationship between siblings. Sometimes competition can become intense and older siblings are usually expected to acquiesce to their younger brothers and sisters. As you can imagine, this just may help to escalate a stressful situation. The reality is that sharing attention is not usually on a kid’s short list of favorite things to do.
Recently, we were visiting our grandkids. Of course, they were perfectly behaved and always got along (in our eyes, anyway). But one day there was an episode when both kids were not in the mood to share anything. We appealed to the oldest based on his age and wisdom of being a first grader, to read a book to his younger brother. And then right before our eyes we witnessed magic. The arguing was over and the two kids settled down – one was the teacher and the other an avid listener.
Later that week we had the wonderful opportunity to visit the http://www.schulzmuseum.org/ Charles M. Schulz Museum in Sonoma, California. If you ever happen to be in the area it’s a must see for kids of all ages. “Sparky”, as Charles Schultz preferred to be called, was a true philosopher and delivered his thoughts and ideas through his daily comic strip, PEANUTS. While walking through the museum we saw the plaque (shown at left) and it immediately reminded us of the experience with our grandkids earlier in the week. (Click on the picture to see a larger image.)
Younger siblings love it when their older brother or sister pays attention to them. Older siblings, who sometimes get annoyed with the younger ones, feel special when asked to help teach something to their younger brother or sister. In our prior blogs we have consistently encouraged parent involvement with their kids. Here is an opportunity for sibling involvement. It’s a way to build stronger bonds between siblings, make each one feel special and to learn from each other, and maybe, just maybe, turn some of that completion into cooperation and fun.
Allowing the big brother or sister to work with their younger sibling can make them feel empowered. Here are a few ways that your elder child can assist your younger child through the READS program and their reading journey together.
- Show their younger sibling how to use the magic finger
- Read the younger sibling a book that he or she enjoyed when they were that age.
- Write book recommendations to their younger sibling
- Start a kids book club with their sibling
- Ask questions from the Question Cards to start a dialogue.
We believe that parents are the ultimate teachers. Here’s a chance to start training the next generation of ultimate teachers.