In fact I'm slightly obsessed with scouting out activities and ways to keep my 16-year-old daughter and 13- year old son bonded at the hip (of course in a non-dysfunctional way)– I have visions in my perfect world of a future filled with them- embracing their respective boyfriends and girlfriends- taking family vacations together and of course always knowing that they can pick up the phone and be each other's voice of reason and touchstone in the midst of their blurry hectic lives.
So I've enlisted the help of an expert to provide me with some solid tips… and of course NETFLIX Keep reading for all the deets …Yes you can get your son and daughter to not only tolerate but LOVE each other… just requires a little extra work on your part
According to Linda L. Dunlap Ph.D., Chair and Professor, Department of Psychology at Marist College, here are a few things parents should keep in mind when trying to provide an environment that will foster strong sibling relationships between their sons and daughters.
1. Most important children need to observe models of close sibling relationships across the age span–children their own age and older, as well as adults. There is nothing more important than what is modeled! (e.g., marital conflict or fights with adult siblings set a negative family-relationship tone).
2. Avoid competition/rivalry–sometimes parents compare children with each other (this may negatively impact sibling relationships), rather children should be encouraged to find themselves and value their own and others uniqueness. Parents need to provide both children with plenty of attention to help ensure children do not feel they are love less.
3. Whenever possible expect them to work out conflicts with each other without intervention. When they do so acknowledge this accomplishment; reward their success!
4. Do things together as a family that create strong positive memories (the kinds your children will want to recall for a lifetime) Believe it or not, siblings really can get along. They play together, they cuddle, and they get sad when one of them is gone for too long. But when it comes to agreeing on something to watch, they can go from love to loathe in a matter of minutes. We want siblings everywhere (of all ages) to get along famously, no matter their differences in show tastes. That’s why Netflix has created Netflix Sibling Playlists to honor National Siblings Day (April 10th ) offering something for every sibling squad to watch and enjoy together.
During the month of April, kids can choose from playlists such as the
A Tale of Two Distant Ages
Must Watch TV
Whether long distance or right next door, these days, adult siblings are also bonding over what they’re watching. Difference is you’re no longer fighting over the remote and are instead championing your favorite Netflix title to get your brother or sister hooked on the same shows. A few that are sure to win you some big-time street cred.
Still Can't Decide?
Since getting a collective answer can be easier said than done, Netflix has created an iconic fortune teller to help your family decide what to watch next.
Even better, create your own.
How to play:
1. Pick a color on the top four flaps and spell out the letters (e.g. B-L-U-E) while alternating a pinching and pulling motion with the teller to reveal a set of four numbers.
2. Pick a number and move the fortune teller the corresponding number of times, revealing a second set of four numbers.
3. Choose a genre and open the flap to reveal what’s up next on Netflix.
5. Encourage siblings to “gang up” against parents; come to parents with requests/suggestion together (show them the power of positive bonding) and then whenever it is reasonable “give in” to their agreed upon requests.
Finally take them on individual excursions which instill a greater fondness for one another upon return.
Central Park Fishing Pond: This is such a great opportunity for siblings to help one another and to gain an appreciation and respect for fishing for sport as they are released back into the pond. (110th/5th Ave.) No cost just the deposit of parent's driver's license.
NY Botanical Gardens: My children love the Children's Gardens where they are able to receive instruction on watering and planting and assist one another in the tasks. (Crotona/Bedford Park Ave. Bronx, NY)
Baskin Robbins: Any day but Wednesdays are buy one get one free-it's a great opportunity to have each child take turns buying the other ice cream:)