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Aug 13

Raising Attached Siblings

Welcome to the August 2013 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Sibling Revelry

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants have written about siblings — their own, their hopes for their kids, and more. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.

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My husband and I are huge family people. We crave that feel of love and support. Perhaps part of that reason is that we both come from dysfunctional families.

My family consisted of much older siblings, an abusive father, and a mother who was depressed. As each of my siblings came of age, they left with hardly a glance back. I watched as the people I idealized seemed to leave me to continue coping and holding everyone together on my own.

My husband’s family had other issues. While he and his brothers are close in age, parental enforced competition between the brothers did not create strong bonds or love. Attempts to control him and make him appear whatever made his parents look good left my husband on his own.

And then we found each other. We fell in love. We got married, and later had kids. We vowed to do things differently. Consensual living plays a large role in both how we interact with our children and how they interact with each other.

Don’t get me wrong. Life isn’t always roses, and there are times when our children disagree and argue. It never lasts long though, and they use their communication skills to work out issues. Having our children curl up together, or even be piled on top of each other, as they read or watch a movie is a common sight. Age differences don’t seem to matter. We have four children, ages 10 1/2 down to age 3. They all work together, help one another, and interact beautifully (for the most part). It is everything my husband and I could have ever wanted for our children or for ourselves.

We may not have that big family feel from our own families of origin, but we are watching it grow with our children. The love they share and the way they treat one another will serve them well for life. As parents of multiple children, it isn’t enough just to foster close connections between parent and child. We need to make certain we are parenting in such a fashion as to allow our children to make those connections between one another.

photo credit: katerha via photopin cc

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Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

(This list will be live and updated by afternoon August 13 with all the carnival links.)

  • The Damage of Comparing Siblings — Comparing siblings can lead to hurt feelings and poor relationships. What Jana Falls has learned and why she hopes for more for her son.
  • Connecting Through Sibling Rivalry — With four children who are spaced so that each child grows up in a pair, Destany at They are All of Me shares her method for minimizing the competition so her children can focus on bonding, rather than besting each other.
  • Sibling Revelry — Lucy at Dreaming Aloud shares the two-week transition that happens every summer as her kids transform from bickering to learning how to play.
  • Baby Brother born from an OceanAbby Jaramillo describes how her toddler connects in a possibly mystical way with her new baby brother and his birth at home, and Abby draws parallels with her own sister’s new baby.
  • Hard, But Worth It — Claire at The Adventures of Lactating Girl discusses how difficult having two children can be, but how it’s definitely worth it.
  • Raising Attached Siblings — At Living Peacefully with Children, Mandy and her husband are making conscious choices about how they raise their children to foster sibling connection and attachment.
  • It’s Complicated — Henrietta at Angel Wings and Herb Tea reflects on how life’s twists and turns have taken her from a childhood with no siblings to a constantly changing family life with five children, including one in spirit.
  • Supportsustainablemum reflects on how the differences between her relationship with her siblings and her husband’s have affected their family and at a time of need.
  • Peas in a Pod — Kellie at Our Mindful Life enjoys the special relationship her oldest two children share.
  • Lessening the competitive enviornment in the homeLisa at The Squishable Baby discusses how downplaying competition in the home has led to cooperation, not competition.
  • The complex and wonderful world of siblings — Lauren at Hobo Mamareflects on her choices to have not too many children, spaced far apart — and how that’s maybe limited how close their sibling relationship can be.
  • 5 Ways to Help Young Siblings Have a Loving Relationship — Charise I Thought I Knew Mama shares the strategies that help her three year old and 14 month old have a somewhat beautiful relationship and aid in keeping peace in their home.
  • 4 Steps to Encourage Sibling Revelry, even in Hot Moments of Rivalry — Sheila Pai of A Living Family share 4 Steps she uses to shift hot moments of sibling rivalry towards connected moments of sibling revelry and human compassion.
  • Twins Are Fun — Mercedes at Project Procrastinot witnesses the development of her twins’ sibling bond.
  • Growing Up Together- Sibling Revelry in Our House — Amy at Me, Mothering, and Making it All Work realizes that there is great utility in raising siblings that are close in age, and is grateful to have been blessed with healthy siblings that both love and challenge one another every day.
  • Top 5 Ways to Reduce Sibling Rivalry — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now shares ideas that helped her two children be best friends along with Montessori resources for peace education and conflict resolution.
  • Sibling Uncertainty — Alisha at Cinnamon and Sassafras wonders how her children’s relationship will change now that the baby is mobile.
  • Living with the Longing — Rachael at The Variegated Life sees that she can live with her longing for another — without changing her plans.
  • For My One and Only DaughterPlaying for Peace mommy reflects on her choice to not have more children in order to focus on other dreams.
  • Siblings: A Crash Course in Relationship Training — How have your siblings prepared you for later relationships? One of Dionna at Code Name: Mama’s top priorities as mama of siblings is to help them learn how to navigate relationships.
  • The Joys of Siblings: An Inside Joke — Ana at Panda & Ananaso shares the a glimpse into the joys of having siblings through sharing a perplexing yet hilarious inside joke betwixt her and her own.
  • Sibling Support, even in the potty! — Even though Laura at Pug in the Kitchen‘s children didn’t start out best friends, they are joined at the hip these days, including cheering each other on with potty successes!
  • Don’t Seek What Isn’t There – On Sibling Jealousy — Laura from Authentic Parenting analyzes the seeming desire people harbor for seeking out hints of sibling jealousy.
  • Sibling Love / Sibling Hate?Momma Jorje speculates whether her children will have a different sibling experience than her own. Did she make the right choices based on her own history?

2 comments

2 pings

  1. sustainablemum

    How wonderful for your children that you have broken the cycle of destructive and negative relationships. I hope you continue to enjoy a positive family environment for many years to come.

  2. janafalls

    What a lovely post! As someone who also comes from a rather… broken family, it’s nice to see that with some thought and conscious parenting that we can build a different experience for our children.

    Thank you.

  1. Top 5 Ways to Reduce Sibling Rivalry | LivingMontessoriNow.com

    [...] Raising Attached Siblings — At Living Peacefully with Children, Mandy and her husband are making conscious choices about how they raise their children to foster sibling connection and attachment. [...]

  2. Sheila Pai: A Living Family | 4 Steps to Encourage Sibling Revelry, even in Hot Moments of Rivalry

    [...] Raising Attached Siblings — At Living Peacefully with Children, Mandy and her husband are making conscious choices about how they raise their children to foster sibling connection and attachment. [...]

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