The Sibling Relationship: Challenging but Powerful

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This post from the SK archives was written by Angelica Perez-Litwin of Modern Familia. The images are from my family’s albums.  I think you guys will really enjoy this post on siblings and I’d love to hear what you think, so please leave a comment.  Thanks! – Kara

The power of the sibling relationship is often over-shadowed by the value we place on building good parent-child relationships, friendships and marital relationships.  The fact is that no bond is typically longer, stronger or more comforting than that between siblings.

As parents, it is easy to focus on the day-to-day bickering, conflict or rivalry, and loose sight of the tremendous long-lasting impact that sibling relationships have on our children.  Here are a few reminders (based on research) why we should continue to honor and foster loving relationships between our children:

The Role of Sibling Relationships on Development

Because brothers and sisters typically spend a lot of time together, they are one another’s first playmates and companions.  As a result, sibling relationships influence both social and cognitive learning:

::  Older children serve as effective role models and teachers: Older children, despite the age difference, always serve as role models and teachers in a variety of pro-social skills, such as helping, sharing, and cooperation.  Language development and communication is also influenced by the presence of older siblings.

[Read more…]

Teaching Children How To Handle Their Emotions: As Simple As PIE

The following is a guest post by Angelica Perez-Litwin of Modern Familia.

As the mother of four children, ranging in ages from 1 to 16, on any given day I might be faced with temper tantrums, angry stumping, door slamming, or the silent treatment (typical among teenagers).  Helping my children appropriately manage and express their feelings is an important part of my day-to-day parenting. In fact, emotional regulation is essential for children’s overall wellbeing.  As parents, we can teach our children to handle their emotions in ways that validates their feelings, while fostering healthy interactions with the world.

Emotional Regulation

Emotional regulation is a fancy term used to describe the ability to process and express a range of emotions, and react in appropriate ways in emotional situations.  Emotional regulation is often conceptualized as a set of skills that can be taught and learned.  The ability to appropriately handle emotions can impact children’s social, emotional and cognitive development. For example: [Read more…]