Parentpost from anywhere

Published: Saturday August 2, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Wednesday August 6, 2014 MYT 1:44:07 PM

Love conquers all

Friends forever: Abby Wong's son and daughter are the best of friends.

Friends forever: Abby Wong's son and daughter are the best of friends.

Parentpost from Sydney: Your siblings are your best friends for life.

We have always emphasised love in our household. Love, as known in our family, is about compassion, respect, acceptance, understanding, patience, emotional intelligence and endurance. We love our friends in many of these ways. With love, we are fun loving and lovingly fun people! In my children’s eyes, we are happy and laid-back parents who live on love. 

Naturally, our children emulate this concept of love in their social interactions. They are respectful but not condescending. They are sociable though careful to not conform blindly. They are playful yet do not succumb to peer pressure. They are outspoken and emotionally intelligent. They are popular among their peers but remain humble.

All these, I believe, come from our early decision to make ‘love’, along with all the aforesaid qualities, the central tenet in our parental endeavours. This approach has been working well.

However, I was not content.

As I delved deeper, I realised it is also important we nurture their sibling love. I envision my two children continuing to love each other in the future much the same way they are doing now.

To accomplish this, we decided to get our son, then five years old, involved as one of our partners in taking care of his sister who is four years younger. Naturally kind, my son started off as a part-time guardian helping to keep an eye on his sister in my fleeting absence. He watched her and carried out simple chores such as changing her napkins and picking up toys.

We watched him with joy and before we knew it, he was crooning her to sleep, feeding her, reading to her, playing with her and thrilling her with surprises from school. They share a tight bond. They enjoy each other’s company. My son is protective of his sister and my daughter loves and admires her brother. With that understanding and that kind of selfless love for each other, there has never been sibling fights.

In my son’s recent report card, his teacher called him a genuinely happy student. My son told his teacher, “I smile whenever I think of my sister and all her silly antics.” The girl’s teachers, meanwhile, have heard so much about her brother that they literally know his likes and dislikes. Each time she relates the little snippets of their lives, she grins from ear to ear.

“She adores him,” her teachers said. She does, with love for a big brother, her guardian.

I want my kids to be each other’s guardian for as long as they live. When things get difficult for them, they can turn to each other. As siblings, they will know each other best, including all their little flaws and strengths. They grow up together so their sympathy for each other will be genuine and their advice constructive.

I have always believed that our future generations will have it harder living in this world. And if I continue to nurture this relationship that my kids have, they will always have each other to confide in and to lean on. That is what I want my kids to be. Let them love each other and be each other’s pillar and bridge over troubled water. 

My motherhood journey has been filled with many beautiful experiences. This endeavour to make my children bond with love is one that has led to many other beautiful outcomes. It cannot be successful if I do not do as I preach. 

You can do it too, with love of course. Don’t wait in the car, for example, the next time you pick your kids up from schools or lessons. Get out and welcome them with a big smile and open arms so they feel your love. If they aren’t doing as well as they want at school, try talking to them with empathy and understanding. The love you project is more effective than scolding and threats.

If you have more than one child, make love fair and equal. Create opportunities for your kids to help each other and when they do, praise or reward them. Make achieving a loving fellowship between the children a known goal, and gently remind them of how important it is.

If you have sons, call it brotherhood. If you have more than two children, let’s call that camaraderie. You will find the fighting, whinging, backstabbing and bickering between siblings markedly reduced. And with love as the sweet coating, your kids will be less rebellious, if at all.

Ultimately, you want to instil love in your children.

Tags / Keywords: Family & Community, Parentpost; Family; Parenting; Siblings

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