Raising Kids Who Will Look Out For Each Other2:44 AM
There is nothing more reassuring for parents than to see their kids actually looking out for each other. The world is filled with so many potential aggressors that having siblings as allies is very comforting. After all, parents will not always be present as they very seldom outlive their children in the natural course of life. When parents are gone, siblings are expected to look out for each other.
Setting the Stage for Sibling Roles
Parents have the important responsibility of setting the stage for the roles their children play in their siblings' lives. In the Filipino culture, older siblings called "Kuya" or "Ate" are taught to be good examples to the younger ones. They often have to give way as well to the preferences of the younger siblings to preserve domestic peace. However, the younger ones are taught as well to respect their older siblings.
As children grow and mature, they should learn that sibling relationships go both ways. One has to give and receive. Respect is given to every member regardless of age. Most importantly, there will always come a time that a family member will need to be "rescued" whether it be from physical harm or bad decisions. Kids who learn early on to look after their siblings usually know by instinct that something is wrong.
Hearing my young children's frequent bickering and squabbling with each other sometimes makes me afraid that they may not look out for each other as adults. I would always recite to them my mantra that at the end of the day and in the darkest moments of their lives, they may only have each other to turn to so they must treasure each other. Those words will always be met by silence so I don't really know what they are thinking.
That said, I am hoping I have done enough. I have a feeling that I did, for during their unguarded moments, I usually catch them staunchly defending each other maybe even not realizing it. I pray for the grace to raise them well so that helping each other out is not even a question to be asked but a fact to be held on to by them.