Activites promote bonding

Miranda Bond and Miranda Bond

With the upcoming Sibs N Kids Weekend, many students may be nervous about keeping the peace between their sister or brother. Rebecca Conrad Davenport, a Psychologist at the Counseling Center on campus shared some information on improving relationships between students.

Davenport said that problems with siblings normally exist because of competition for love, acknowledgment and acceptance from their parents. Also, unresolved conflicts are often cause for disagreements.

Problems between college students and siblings arise because both individuals are going through major changes in their lives. College students are getting older and leaving home. This most likely changes their relationships with family members. As students mature, it is an opportunity to form mutually respectful relationships between siblings.

“I think sibs weekend can be a time of fun and connection, in which the student gets to bring a member of his/her family into another part of their world and life here at school,” Davenport said. She offered some steps students can take to make the weekend as peaceful and productive as possible.

First, Davenport recommends that those planning on hosting guests should decide their expectations for the weekend and share these expectations with their sibling. This allows each person to work toward the same goal. It is also important not to set expectations too high, because this only sets the weekend up for disappointment.

Second, it is important for students to strive for good communication with their siblings. This includes listening well to what the other person has to say and what they want to have happen.

Also, siblings need to speak openly and honestly about what activities they wish to participate in. Decide whether the weekend will be a restful weekend or two days filled with activities. This will avoid the chance for miscommunication.

Finally, students should take the opportunity alone with their brother or sister to resolve any past conflict.

“Conflict is a normal part of any relationship and this may be especially likely when each person has their own sense of what they want to have happen. If you don’t get it ‘right’ at first, keep trying,” Davenport said.

“Relationships are not always easy and in fact can be hard work. At the same time, good relationships, even with your siblings, can enrich your life way beyond the effort required to maintain them,” she added.

She also said while it can be stressful to entertain guests, tensions can be eased by getting plenty of sleep and a good sense of humor. Most importantly, just enjoy the weekend.