Sibling Relationships in Homeschooling: How to Foster Strong Bonds

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We’re 8 weeks into our series on prayer for our homeschools. So thankful you are joining me! You can learn more about the series here. We’ll pray about a new area of our homeschool journey each week and dig into God’s Word with daily devotional reflections. Find this week’s free printable at the end of this post.

The other day, I caught a glimpse of my son and one of my daughters sitting together on an armchair, playing a video game together and laughing. Seeing them playing together, enjoying one another’s company brought me so much joy, as I imagine it would to any mom! I will forever treasure memories like these.

It isn’t the reason we decided to homeschool our children, but the opportunity to help our kids form close bonds and strong relationships is definitely a benefit. For many families, this may be a big reason in their decision to homeschool. However, close sibling relationships are not an automatic by-product of homeschooling (if only it worked like that!).

Here are a few tips to help you foster sibling relationships in your homeschool.

In today’s world, God’s design for family is constantly under attack. We have a real enemy that wants nothing more than for our kids to bicker and loathe our efforts to create unity in our family.

The assumption is that it’s “normal” if brothers and sisters fight…but God created the family unit and gave us ours to learn, grow, and love together. Family relationships should be strong, and we absolutely can go to God in prayer with our hearts and hardships in this area. This is what we are going to focus on this week in our study and prayer.

What a blessed opportunity we have to help foster strong sibling relationships through the vessel of homeschooling!

Foster Sibling Relationships in Our Homeschools

We certainly can’t just sit back and assume our kids will be close because we are homeschooling and they are around each other so much.

In fact, our kids being so close all the time can actually make bickering and fighting worse!

While we are by no means a perfect example (what family is?), by God’s grace our kids tend to get along pretty well much of the time. There are a few tips I would love to share with you that have helped me navigate the sibling dynamics in our home.

Respond to Issues Immediately

Kids need to learn how to navigate problems that arise in their relationships. When one sibling gets angry or hurt by another, it can be tempting for them to disengage or ignore each other instead of trying to find a solution to the problem. This can allow anger and resentment to build – and the issue never truly gets resolved.

We are teaching our kids that it is important to try to resolve conflicts as soon as possible. It’s okay to be upset, but they must use appropriate ways to express how they are feeling to their siblings.

We do a lot of “re-do’s” in our home: when I hear a conversation getting a little bit out of control and tempers rising, I’ll ask my kids to stop and think about if they are using words and actions that are honoring their brother or sister. Then we’ll start the conversation over, choosing calm, kind words to express themselves. (They really love it when I act like a movie director and yell….”Action!” before their “re-do”).

With the opportunity to homeschool, we have a front row seat to a lot of sibling interactions and a lot of teachable moments. Mamas, let’s make a conscious effort to intervene when necessary and take the opportunities give to us to teach our kids how to appropriately communicate with each other.

Cheer One Another On

Our kids are fearfully and wonderfully made by our loving Heavenly Father, each of them unique and with their own talents, purpose, and interest. It’s important that we as parents recognize this and support them, and it’s important for their siblings to do so as well.

I try to coach my kids a bit in this area since they are still young – I encourage them to give compliments to one another, do something nice to cheer one another up when they are feeling down, or encourage each other when they are facing something challenging. We all show up (most of the time, as schedules allow!) to cheer for one another at sporting events. I desire to make it part of our family culture to spur one another on in love and good deeds.

Some kids know instinctively how to do this, but teaching them and training them to show kindness to their siblings and support their accomplishments is an effort worth making. It might sound corny, but something else we do is to have each sibling taking turns at the dinner table saying something nice or complimenting their brothers and sisters. It’s so nice to hear from their hearts what they love and appreciate about each other.

Serve Others Together

Serving as a family is not only a great way to train our kids to be selfless and giving, but can also be a great way to bond and make lasting memories.

Not only can you work together to serve and volunteer in your community, but you can start right inside your home and encouraging your kids to serve one another. Another easy way to start is with my Acts of Kindness Bingo Challenge, which includes an entire year of ideas to serve and show kindness to others!

Acts of Kindness Bingo

I have a ton of other great ideas for ways you can incorporate serving and volunteering into your homeschool days in the series of posts listed here.

Create Fun Family Traditions

You can create a fun tradition around just about anything, and it will become a great way for your kids to connect. We have special traditions on the first and last days of school, holidays, and birthdays.

We also have special moments built into our days that are just for us to share and bond over. For example, this past year we have so enjoyed reading the Harry Potter series aloud together as a family (we’re on the last book – almost done!), and watching the movies together after reading each book.

Just having this special “thing” has brought us a lot of joy in many ways over the year. None of us will ever forget it. What can be your family’s “thing” this season?

Teach Siblings to Pray for Each Other

Prayer is so important, and what a privilege do we have to lift one another up! As we pray for our children’s sibling relationships this week, let’s also teach them to pray for each other daily.

We can teach them to make this a habit by modeling consistently. Pray before bedtime each night. During family devotions, or even at the dinner table, ask if anyone has any prayer requests, or how you can be praying for each other.

When we pray together, I often remind them that we are told to pray continually (1 Thessalonians 5:17), and that we can talk to God throughout the day, anytime. Teaching our kids to pray for their siblings will help bring them closer together as they build up love in their hearts and seek one another’s well-being.

Praying for Our Children’s Relationships with Each Other

So how can we specifically pray for our children’s sibling relationships this week? There are a lot of wonderful scriptures you might refer to, but here are a few of my favorite.

We can pray that they grow in wisdom and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ; that they would be well-equipped to handle challenging situations with each other and learn to understand and empathize with one another more each day.

But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.
2 Peter 3:18

We can pray that their relationships with each other and kind, tenderhearted, and full of grace and forgiveness. That they would promote peace among each other, and encourage one another.

Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. 
Ephesians 4:32

That the things they say and think to their brothers and sisters would be pleasing in God’s sight. That they would look for ways to put others before themselves and have a selfless spirit.

May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.
Psalm 19:14

We can pray that they realize a sacrificial love towards each other, the kind of love shown to them by Jesus. That this love would fill them and overflow to their siblings, manifesting in their thoughts, actions and attitudes.

May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Romans 15:5-6

And let us pray, mamas, for opportunities for us to teach them and guide them from scripture while they are under our roof in our homeschools. Pray for patience each day as we help them grow and nurture their relationships!

Blessed Homeschool is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. You can read my full affiliate disclosure HERE.

Fostering strong sibling relationships takes intentional work, prayer, and allowing the Lord to guide us. Pray for His will in the lives of your children, that they may know a strong relationship with their siblings and glorify God in their lives!

Heavenly Father, thank you for the gift of my children. In your infinite wisdom you chose them to be siblings, and I pray for opportunities today to help them build strong bonds through our homeschool.

You know the dynamics between my children and all of the challenges they face. My desire is that they have unity and peace in their daily decisions and interactions, loving one another as you have loved us. Let my children not look only to their own interests, but to the interests of their siblings. Inspire them to out-do one another in showing brotherly love.

May the Holy Spirit fill me with kindness, patience, gentleness and self-control as I teach them each day, that they may see Christ in me as an example to them. Let your word transform them daily, and may you be glorified in their relationships with one another throughout their lives.

In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

This Week’s Printable and Homeschool Prayer

These printables have short, totally do-able prompts and reflective questions to help keep you in the Word daily, and a sheet with the weekly prayer on it you can print and hang in your homeschool room.

It’s my hope that this printable helps serve as a reminder to be in God’s Word each day, praying and seeking His will for your life and homeschool.

Sibling Secret Agent Cards

Romans 12:10 tells us to, “Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.”

Have a little fun encouraging your kids to be devoted to each other in love! Print off my Sibling Secret Agent card and assign one of your kids as the “Secret Agent” this week! If they can check off all of the tasks, they can receive a prize of your choosing.

There is also a blank sheet so you can fill in your own tasks for them to do. And yes, you’re giving them a little external motivation to be kind, but definitely follow up the activity at the end of the week with questions to evaluate how they felt while doing these acts of kindness. This will help reinforce that internal motivation for them!

Join the 52 Week Challenge!

Finally, f you want to join in on the challenge from the very beginning, make sure to sign up below, and get a copy of my Printable Devotional Pages sent to your inbox. Join in any time, and you’ll start the following Monday with Week #1!

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I would love to hear from you below in the comments: what are some of the ways you help foster sibling relationships in your homeschool?

Blessed Homeschool is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. You can read my full affiliate disclosure HERE.

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