How I Attempt To Foster Friendship Between My Toddler Children

1. I try to brainwash them by saying at least 25 times/day, "Your brother is your BEST friend" and "Your sister is your BEST friend."
2. I want them to always root for each other, so I am constantly modeling encouragement and then praising it when I overhear them encouraging one another. Modeling is so important for kids. They have to be shown what to say in situations.
3. When the inevitable scary point of the Disney movie comes up, instead of rushing to W's side (she's more affected that he is) to comfort her, I tell her to hold her brother's hand so he can make her safe.
4. I encourage her to "read" books to him.
5. If they are playing happily together, I never, ever interrupt them. Even if they are making a huge mess or jumping on the furniture or sticking a billion stickers on each other. I can always clean up later, but I can't force them to enjoy one another.
6. I bathe them together, they sit by each other at the table, they share a room, they hold hands when we cross the street...together, together, together.
7. I model empathy between them so that they can learn to have it on their own.
8. I teach them fun, imaginative play games they can play together without me, like camping out, princess and knight, animal rescuers, fort building, restaurant, and mommy and daddy. 
9. I remind W when they are in conflict that one of her jobs as a big sister right now is showing her brother God's love.
10. I'm teaching them to help each other and rely on each other, like W putting on R's clothes, R holding the elevator for W, wiping each other's faces, etc.
11. I don't set them up to be competitive towards each other. 
*I would love to hear your ideas on the matter! This is something important to me.


  1. Love this. #5 got me a little misty. ;) You're a good mom! I'm going to remember a lot of these...

  2. These are all such great ideas. My sister & I grew up hating each other, so I definitely think your methods are preferable.

  3. I love this list, too. I can't really think of anything else to add. We wanted to homeschool for this reason, although obviously that isn't necessary to achieve your goal. I wish I had put my siblings before my friends growing up; I could have been a much bigger advocate for you guys. #5 might prove to be difficult to continue once they get older and are capable of destructing more...however, these are your kids we're talking about so never mind. I really like #10.