Sibling Rivalry: Fostering Cooperation Among Kids
All parents wants to build strong connections between their kids. We want our children to know that they can depend on each other. We want them to be able to work together to accomplish a goal.
Perhaps your friend's account of how well her kids work together is accurate, but it's also possible that she's glossing over any tensions or flare-ups between her teens—sort of the way family vacations often are much improved in the retelling when you forget the disasters and daily stresses.
If you'd like to see more teamwork between your teens, look for opportunities where they work together as equals. You see more bickering when one is the boss.
Avoid situations with built-in competition, like fund-raising sales or contests. Anything that has a winner (and implicitly a loser) will not build a cooperative spirit.
Instead, look for jobs where each can succeed and shine to cut out potential sibling rivalry. For example, they can volunteer together at a local food pantry. It's a chance to work together and have an impact—while neither is the boss of the other.