Sibling Day

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Gary Direnfeld | Guest Author

It’s Sibling Day! Should You Separate Them or Not?

This year (2021) it falls on April 10. It is a day set out to honour, respect and remember sibling relationships.

Indeed, siblings are one’s first community. It is within that community we hopefully learn to share, get along and find support.

As those siblings then grow and develop, and given a reasonable relationship, they may be there for each other long after parents are no longer available.

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So, should separating parents ever split them up?

While it does happen, it may not be a good thing for their short term or long-term relationship. Separating the siblings may also create a greater sense of loss beyond missing parents living together. This can be a set-up for greater grief and mourning in a separation process.

To add, the presence of a sibling can provide a sense of safety, security and consistency in a life that may feel topsy turvy.

To help develop a loving and supportive relationship between siblings, never compare or pit one against the other. Have some special time alone with each and encourage their support of one and other.

Reinforce respectful behavior and where possible, let them work out any bumps along the way, assuming nothing abusive.

Each child should be encouraged to develop their own interests which may coincide or be different. While they each have their own path, in the larger scheme of things, they walk the world together. They will forever share their experience growing up between you. Think twice about taking that away.

Hopefully, those siblings remain protective for each other. Just their being there can add to a sense of emotional safety.

In the event they have kids of their own, then as cousins, their kids may have a legacy of caring and supportive relationships.

Today’s decisions play to the future.

Wishing you a happy Sibling Day.

Gary Direnfeld, MSW, RSW

Gary Direnfeld, MSW, RSW is a Canadian Social Worker in private practice. He is recognized from his 65 episodes of the hit show Newlywed/Nearly Dead, to over 650 columns as the parenting expert of a major metropolitan newspaper, to more than 600 media appearances, to his book, Marriage Rescue: Overcoming ten deadly sins in failing relationships. Courts in Ontario, Canada, consider him an expert in social work, marital and family therapy, child development, parent-child relations and custody and access matters He speaks at conferences and workshops throughout Canada and the US and helps family peacemakers grow their practice.


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