Thoughtfulness helps siblings to relate

In her Childwise column, Ruth Liew writes about family members being thoughtful

Parents have a responsibility to teach children about family communication. In recent months, my two girls have been arguing and fighting over minor issues, mostly about things they want. They remind me about how my sister and I used to relate to one another. I am the oldest and I regarded my sister as the spoiled baby while my sister did not like the idea of me bossing her around. We always argued over trivial things. We did not get along at all until we started doing things for one another.

I told my girls that if they can start being thoughtful towards one another, they may start to enjoy each other’s company. When one person takes the first step to be kind, this act will be reciprocated. Aldous Huxley’s last words were: “All we need is to be a kinder toward each other.” Simple but powerful. If human beings heeded these words, there would be less violence in the world.

The article also lists some “thoughtful traits that children can practice at home”:

  • Start the day with a good word for someone in your family (preferably your sibling)
  • Start the sentence with “I think” or “I feel” rather than “You should” or “You cannot”.
  • Share the gift of laughter
  • Celebrate each other’s successes and failures.
  • Be considerate and give more of yourself.

Read the excellent article for an elaboration of these points.