Never Alone: A Homeschooler’s Guide to Getting Along With Siblings

pic_drawer_syevwjI have many  good friends but I can honestly say that some of my very BEST friends are my siblings. Yes, I said siblings: those pesky, annoying, and frustrating brothers and sisters who I grew up with. Even though I am grown and live in a different state now we still keep in touch and I miss them terribly. I am the second oldest of 9 children and if you think that is a lot, then imagine being with them 24/7! My parents homeschooled us, so we did not have separate schools where we could avoid one another. They were there when I woke up, when I ate, when I did homework, when I had free time and when I wanted quiet. We all had a decision to make: be friends or make each other’s lives miserable.
With our parents help, we decided to get along.  This eventually lead to becoming friends because when you’re stuck with each other you might as well make the best of it! It is sad for me now to see how often siblings cannot stand each other. I’m not saying that you will never annoy one another or sometimes wish they would just magically disappear for a few days. But I do believe God puts people in our lives to help us and make us better. If we allow, our siblings can be one of our greatest blessings we have. Here are a few ideas that are for homeschoolers (but public school kids can use also) to help get along with those siblings:

  • Remember that the Golden Rule.
    “Do unto others as you would have done unto you” (Matthew 7:12) applies to siblings too! If you don’t want your sibling to yell at you, do not yell at them. If you like peace and quiet while you work on your favorite hobby, let them have a little peace and quiet. If you like others to help you with your chores when you are having a bad day, help them when they are having one. If you do not like to have your chair pulled out from under you when you are doing your homework, do not pull the chair out from under your sibling. They will end up with scratched back and you will get in trouble. (Believe me, I know.) Just treat your siblings in a NICE way. Your life and theirs will be better for it.
  • Have FUN together!
    Find hobbies you all enjoy. I had enough siblings to have our own baseball team, so we would go outside and play sports for fun. We also loved music so we listened to our favorite bands, went to concerts, TRIED to harmonize and play instruments together. Even if you only have one sibling you can find things to do. Go on hikes, ride bikes, read the same book and talk about it, cook, just ANTHING! It is good to get out of the house and have fun. If you find something you both like to do it will help you bond.
  • Think of the future.
    I know this can be hard, but understand that how you treat the people God has given you in your life NOW will impact your future. If you can learn to work out arguments in a calm way now, it will be so much easier to work out arguments with your husband in the future. If you can learn how to help take care of your younger siblings in a loving way now, it will come more easily when you are a mother. If you can learn to respect your siblings, it will be easier to respect your future boss. And the list could go on and on.

If you will work on these ideas I promise that your relationship with your siblings will get better. I know it can be difficult, especially with them being around all the time. Remember that God gave them to you and they will always be someone special in your life. There will always be some sibling rivalry, teasing and annoyances, that is normal. But try to be friends with your siblings now. You will be thankful when you are older!

Alicia Bookout
About Alicia Bookout 19 Articles
Alicia and her husband Garrett currently serve at the Northwest congregation in Lawton, OK. They have two children: Emma and Wesley.

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