Monday, April 26, 2010

Helping your children form lasting relationships

When you think about your childhood would you say it was good? Did you relate to and form a bond with your sibling(s)? Do you continue as an adult to foster the relationship with your sibling(s)? These are important questions to ask because how you relate to your siblings can affect how your children form relationships with one another. Sibling relationships are the longest relationships you will have here on earth. Funny to think we often don't put much thought into that. But a close relationship with a sister or a brother can be a real treasure in life.

As my grandfather passed away last week I watched as his four children (my dad, a twin brother, a younger brother and one sister) came together from different parts of the country to be at his side. Their personalities are all different, each choosing various career paths and having different interests in life. They have not remained as close as some siblings all grown up do, but they continue to keep each other updated on the activities in life, new additions to the family and occasionally get together for birthdays and holidays. Phone calls are made and emails are written. I am thankful that when our families all lived within miles of each other (back when I was a little girl) we'd often vacation together too.

I have two sisters and although we don't live next door to one another we often call and email throughout the week. I would hope that when my four children are all grown up, they too will call and email and spend time with one another. Even if distance is an issue, I hope that they will make an effort to continue their relationships and invest in each others life.

You may have a similar story. Or you may not be close to your brother or sister and wish it were different. You may want for your children what you did not have growing up. So how can we foster strong relationships between our children that will take them into adulthood even after we are gone? What does that even consist of? Brett Johnston wanted to find that out as well. He decided to do some research and ended up writing "Close Kids: Connect Your Children for Life." His story and what he discovered could really help you as you guide your children in developing lasting relationships. Listen to him speak here on Family Life.

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