Why My Kids Are BFFs

Everyone that meets my kids are amazed at how close they are to each other - They really are each others best friend. I am really fortunate that they are because it has made life a lot easier, they play so well together and rarely fight. How did they get to be best friends?

Partly Luck:

My son is the oldest by 3 years less 8 days and his personality has lent a lot to this relationship. He is very easy going, doesn't need a lot of attention, and is very responsible. When his sister was born he just stepped aside, grew up and started caring for her.

My daughter is a handful but he keeps her in check and well behaved because she wants to be like him. She loves everything he loves and wants to do everything he does. The best part is he wants her to, he encourages her to, and it doesn't bother him to have her tagging along. That is to say for the most part.... He needs his personal time and time with just his friends every once in a while and it's hard for her to give it to him. When he needs his space or she is being too pushy then I step in and ensure he has what he needs.

Partly work:

Before our daughter was born I talked to my son about what the role of a big brother was. I asked him to be responsible for her, to help her, teach her and take care of her. He takes his job as a big brother very seriously.

When it became apparent that my daughter was getting the best part of the deal and taking full advantage I realized she was old enough to become responsible for her big brother. I asked her to be responsible for him, to help him, teach him and take care of him. She takes her job as a little sister very seriously.

They are responsible for each others happiness - sounds like too much? Well, its not. It's teaching them to think about someone other then themselves in a relationship. When the other one is hurt or sad the other steps up to get them to laugh or be happy. Both find it very rewarding since life is happier when your friend is happy too.

Every night right from when they were small I made it part of their bedtime routine to say "I love you" to each other. It's much easier loving someone and wanting to be friends with them when you know they love you too. It isn't good enough to assume children just know if their sibling loves them, they need to know it. By saying it they will come to love each other.

Anytime they started to fight they'd be separated and if they couldn't be they'd be made to say "I love you" and give hugs and kisses. Ever stay mad at someone who says I love you and gives you a hug? Hugs and loves puts an end to a fight faster then any time out - and with better results.

When there is a disagreement I don't solve it for them, I've helped them figure out how to resolve it themselves. They've come up with contracts to solve conflicts and role definition to create something out of nothing. ie One's the mayor the other the assistant.

It's not always roses in our house, but it is far from a war zone. They do get on each others nerves and they do need their space. My daughter is very bossy and my son's tolerance for it though high does have a limit. However, through love, communication, and responsibility for the other they work it out relatively quickly and are the best of friends again.

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