Last week I happened upon this two year old photo. If there’s one thing that’s been a constant in our home, it’s the way our eldest always has his little sister’s best interest at heart.

He cares for her. He dotes on her, and he helps model how other boys should treat her. Yet as he gets older, and his schedule gets busier, I fear that his priorities might change, and his desire to care for her in the same way might wane.

So imagine how my momma heart melted when I walked into the family room this week, and saw the two of them taking a twirl on our “dance floor.”

Do you see them? Eight and eighteen years old, magic happens when siblings engage and invest in each others lives.

The impact of the older siblings on the younger ones affect their self esteem, their social behaviors, their friendships and relationships.

Moms, take heart. (I speak to myself on this one.)

This is hard work. It doesn’t just happen.

It’s worth the investment of time it takes to develop and engage the hearts of your children, and point it towards their siblings.

In the midst of loud arguments, in the midst of the rash decisions, we continually remind our children that friendships come and go, but their siblings will always be there for them.

That mentality has to start at home. It has to be nurtured and given wings, and often it means making tough decision which then gives the time necessary to allow that to happen.

Fight for that family time. Fight for that Meal Time. Fight for Unity.

In the midst of “brotherly love” and those physical signs of “affection”, we fight for those relationships. We remind them it’s not about competition or comparison, but about TEAM.

In the midst ofย  hurt feelings or miscommunication, we continue to teach our child to apologize, and fight for reconciliation.

In the midst of yelling at each other, which ironically happened in the middle of writing this post, we fight for peace and open communication.

And in thoseย  moments that are leading towards a mommy meltdown, we take heart, because during that extremely hard day, one just might walk into the midst ofย  Cinderella’s Ball and know that every moment is worth it. ๐Ÿ™‚

Invest the time. Be purposeful in their interaction. We won’t regret it.

Continue reading, Raising a Band of Brothers, which focuses on siblings as well.