Helping Siblings Find Their Love for Each Other

Helping Siblings Find Their Love for Each Other

Since it’s the day of love, I have to talk a little today about helping siblings show love for each other.

Sometimes the heart comes before the actions, but sometimes the actions come first.  In this case, you can act like you love someone even if you don’t always feel it.  Being loving toward someone doesn’t require feeling loving toward them.

Do your kids need encouragement in showing love for one another

When I notice a bitterness growing between a couple of my kids, I will give them some assignments.  I will tell them each to do something kind for the other, in secret.  I give them some ideas if they need it, then they are to only tell me what they did.  Don’t tell anyone else!

It’s a way of helping them think about what their sibling needs and what pleases him.  To think about another person is a skill that we need to practice and this is a good way since it’s done in secret. Telling only you about the kindness gives you a chance to help them see where the gaps are in their acts of kindness.  Is it really helping their sibling?  Can they do more?  Are they thinking of themselves?  Did they successfully bless their sibling?

You should praise their efforts even if it was small, even if you are a bit disappointed in the lack of sacrifice.  Then give them their next assignment.  Maybe they need some guidance.  But the bulk of the idea should be their own. Of course, they don’t know that their sibling is being given the same task.

Some ideas for secret acts of kindness:
1. make their bed
2. clear their place at the table
3. finish a chore for them
4. help with school work
5. share your dessert
6. let them have first choice on something
7. ask their advice
8. give a genuine compliment
9. offer to do something they like
10. let them have the best place to sit These are just a few ideas to get you started.

Encouraging this kind of love between siblings is a great way to build a godly, loving relationship!


  1. 11. Let them have the first bite of a piece of pie. (It’s the best bite!)

  2. Great post. I’m enjoying this series and learning ways to better get along with my siblings.

    One great exercise that I’ve learned from someone is to do “experiments” with your siblings when you’re having problems with them and you’re tired of nagging them to do things. For example, if a sibling Jane is being messy the Sarah is bothered by it, Sarah tells Jane that she is going to conduct an experiment that Sarah will keep her space clean in hopes that Jane will do the same. This can work really well because it doesn’t make the person feel attacked, and often, if Sarah were to just keep her space clean without telling anyone, it’s likely that Jane won’t notice. It’s very important to tell the person that you’re conducting the experiment. It works for other problems as well such as siblings who talk rudely to own another, don’t listen to each other and other issues. It’s also nice because it shows that you really can’t change anyone, you can only change yourself and hopefully your change will inspire change in your sibling. I’m sure it would also work with parent/child problems such as getting chores done the first time.

  3. Dear Erma,

    This is superb advice, as is always the case.

    Hugs and happy highways,

  4. Great ideas! Thank you for sharing!

  5. Great article! We’ve been dealing with this at our house recently as some bad habits have crept in. I like your positive approach. I have some teens in the house, too, and have recently started charging them a small sum for any negative or critical words or actions towards their siblings. If they balk, it immediately doubles. It really has nipped it in the bud. They don’t want to let go of their hard earned $. We are also memorizing Scriptures with some sign language (such as Proverbs 15:1 and Phil 2) to be sure our hearts are being transformed, too. Blessings! Thanks for the article :-)