I get to read and think about a lot of great (parenting) books. That also means I often get a lot of ideas about what to do– or not do, as the case may be!– with my boys. When I reviewed Laura Markham’s latest, Peaceful Parent, Happy Siblings, for Brain, Child in the winter I knew that doing a sibling celebration was something we would try to implement.
Markham is a Clinical Psychologist who previously wrote Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids. Because she saw so much sibling conflict she decided it needed its own book. In Chapter 8, “Tools to Prevent Rivalry and and Nurture Bonding,” she urges parents to consider an annual sibling celebration. I loved the idea and thought focusing on the boys and their relationship would help them feel special (especially because I am their only-child mother!).
Given that both of my boys have January birthdays I decided the summer would be a good time to add an annual celebration, especially before the hectic school year began. So in August we devoted a whole Saturday to what we called “Brothers Day.” They got to set the tone of the day– in a way that reminded me of Amy Krouse Rosenthal’s Yes Day!, though with more restrictions given their ages (1.5 and 3.5). In the week before our day each “selected” a present for the other and we began the day by exchanging those gifts.
After that we focused on activities and meals they like. We went swimming, had KFC (one of their favorites), went to a trampoline park, and then I made one of our favorite family meals (lamb and orzo with feta cheese and spinach– super easy in the crockpot!) and capped it off with their own cupcakes.
It was definitely a big success and next year Quenton will be able to understand it all a bit more. We won’t set the same date, but rather do it at the same time of year next August. I am guessing interests will have changed a bit since this and this also gives us a chance to celebrate that!
This is one tip from a book I definitely recommend.