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A sibling is a child’s first friend, no matter what the age difference between the two is. Brothers and sisters are the ones you share your stories, secrets, clothes and toys with, so no wonder the bonding is very unique. This International Literacy Day on September 8, why not encourage your older kids to teach life lessons (as also school lessons) to their younger siblings? This will also ease some of your mommy stress!
The temptation to become a super-mom is very strong in most women, which might compel you to take charge of everything in your child’s life. You might want to be the one who teaches everything you know to your kids. However, experts suggest that if you have two or more kids, it is better to let the elder child teach some things to his siblings. A child will often look-up to his elder sister or brother to learn skills like socialising, dealing with bullies, fashion tips and simple games. As a parent, seeking tips to make your child help his younger sibling is but natural. So let’s get started!
What Can an Elder Sibling Teach
1. Computer and Mobile Basics
Children today know a great deal more about the latest technology. They are fast learners and know how to operate a phone, a laptop or a tablet. Since they know the basics well, ask them to pass this knowledge to the younger one. Starting and shutting-down a device, mouse-functionalities, and playing music on it can be some starting points. After all, tech literacy is paramount in today’s world.
2. Sports and Games
Is big brother good at table tennis? Has the elder sister mastered swimming? Then who else can be a better teacher to their younger sibling! Ask your child to take out 15 minutes from their game time to show how it’s done to their sibling. They might resist at first, wanting to spend more time with friends. You can try to patiently make them understand, or promise them a treat after they do it.
Studies can never be ignored! If both your children go to school, then ensuring that they both revise and do their homework can be very time-consuming. The easiest way to save time is to put the elder child in charge of the younger one’s studies. Ask him to check their sibling’s homework and get corrections done.
4. Household Chores
You’ve painstakingly taught your first-born the nitty-gritty of simple household chores. It can be quite a task to do it all over again with the younger child. Your older child can again come to the rescue. Praise them on what an efficient job they are doing (even if they are not) and suggest corrections. Also ask them to be a good ‘supervisor’ and teach the younger one.
Teach These Yourself
However heart-warming it is to see your children bond during such teaching session, there are some things that are best left to be taught by professionals.
1. Internet Supervision
As a parent, you need to draw a line when it comes to internet usage at an early age. Though internet is an incredibly powerful tool, it is also a place where things can go terribly wrong if you don’t keep a check on what your elder one is doing and passing on to their siblings.
Unless there is almost a decade’s gap between the two children, don’t ask the older sibling to give driving lessons. Experience plays a big role here, so either give driving lessons yourself or get them enrolled in a driving school.
3. Handling Heavy-Duty Electrical Tools
A parent should do the teaching when it comes to operating drill machines or saws — just to keep the chances of accidents to bare minimum.
This International Literacy Day on September 8, let the lessons begin at home! Siblings can be great teachers and nothing drives the point home better than explaining it to someone else. What’s more, your kids will gel much better together, with the older ones developing a sense of responsibility and the younger ones finding teachers who are really considerate!