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Tips on Building Relationship with Family and Sibling


Family is a primary and most powerful influence for growth and development of children and adolescent. Building relationship with family members including siblings is part of the process of socialization.  A good family environment and positive relationship between family members helps in building self esteem, sense of security, confidence and social skills among teenagers. Below are some tips on building positive relationships for parents and teens.

Tips for Parents

Parents play a crucial role in creating happy, healthy and safe family environment within the family and siblings by showing good role model, respecting each other, engaging teens in decision making, fostering love between siblings, encourage sharing but at the same time give individual attention and care to each child.

It is important for parents to appreciate each child uniqueness and not to compare one with the other. Successful parents instill and role model positive values and interaction to their children by how they communicate and interact with their spouses and other family members. Children and adolescents are keen observers, how they behave are being shaped by the behavior modeled by their parents and other family members at young age.

To build positive relationship, parents must create time together to enhance relationship such as by having meal, watching movies, gardening, washing cars, cooking or shopping together.  Apart from spending family time together, parents must also allocate a special personalized quality time to engage and provide attention to each child to make them feel loved and appreciated.  This can help prevent sibling rivalry in order to gain parental love and attention.

Tips for Teens

Teens too have a role to play in building relationships with their families and siblings. For a start, begin with loving your own family and siblings.  Some teens are not fortunate enough to have a fewly or siblings. These are teen who have lost their parents, or live in orphanage or being an only child.

It is important for teenagers to love their parents and families for all the sacrifices they have made in raising you up. Due to various socio-economic and cultural factors, you may feel deprived compared to other affluent / well to-do families. Be grateful, as long as your parents and siblings are not abusive it is your duty to love, respect and support each other.  Work together to make home a happy, healthy and safe environment for all. Even simple activities such as helping out in daily chores such as cleaning your bedroom, tidying your personal belongings /toys/ games, helping to wash your own clothes, do the dishes and bringing out the garbage goes a long way in making your family and home environment a happy one.

If you are an elder sibling, love, care, protect, guide and enjoy your younger siblings. This will boost your self esteem for making positive impacts on others as well as groom your leadership skills. You can’t change others but you can definitely change yourself and make a difference.

If you are the younger sibling, show respect, appreciate your elders. A good way to get connected is to seek your elder sibling’s advice on hobbies, sports or studies.  In any relationship, having conflicts, differences of opinion, arguments and fights over possession may arise. In this case, parental role is important to help teenagers resolve their differences, anger, frustration, remorse, jealousy, sadness or disappointment. Parents should acknowledge teens’ feeling and listen to them without taking sides or making and judgement. Try not to get involved in teens’ conflict, instead guide them to overcome their emotions or problems such as anger management, relaxation techniques, negotiating skills, conflict resolution etc. Give teens’ reassurance and confidence that they can solve their problem amicably.


In summary, parents play a vital role in helping teen to build a positive relationship by setting positive environment and foundation for teens/ siblings to through role modeling and instilling positive knowledge, values, attitude, behavior and social skills. Conflicts, arguments and disagreements are bound to occur but by having good parenting skills and learning ways to resolve conflict, positive relationship between siblings and family can be enhanced.

Last Reviewed : 11 August 2014
Writer : Dr. Nik Rubiah bte Nik Abdul Rashid
Accreditor : Dr. Norharlina bte Bahar