Of all the people in our lives, siblings will always occupy a special place in our hearts, and a close relationship with your sibling can be a wonderful thing indeed. Your sibling can be the steadfast shoulder to cry on, an unparalleled source of support, and a great and constant friend. Here are a few suggestions to build that great relationship with your brother or sister.

1. Work up a sweat together

A great way to bond as siblings is to play a sport that you both enjoy together. Whether it is football, tennis, swimming, going to the gym, or for a run, exercise is an effective and productive way to get to know a person better. The feeling of exertion will bring you closer as you both feel the strain together, and a little friendly competition wouldn’t hurt either. Exercise also allows you to talk to your sibling, providing a time and space outside the usual routine for you to interact, a sure-fire way to become closer. So grab a ball and put on your track shoes and you’ll find you’re having more fun with your sibling than you would expect.

2. Make and keep fun family traditions

Life can sometimes pull siblings apart, with school or work making it difficult to see each other. Cultivating a few family traditions can be a fun way to build those memories and bonds. Family traditions are simply events or habits which can be put in place for the family to come together, like gathering for important festive occasions such as Christmas or New Year. You can make your own traditions by suggesting activities to be done regularly with your sibling, such as going out together during the holidays or making sure to say goodnight to each other every evening. This is a great way to make interacting with each other a routine, bringing you closer together without even realising it.

3. Catch up over a meal

The path to cultivating close ties is over the dinner table, so why not take your sibling out for a meal? Nothing too fancy or expensive is necessary, just make sure it's food that you both enjoy, then make time in your schedule for the meal. Alternatively, you can try a new dish or visit some new hawker stalls. Food is a great social lubricant, so have a great conversation with your sibling during the meal and make an effort to ask after him or her, and show that you care. Above all, have fun and treasure your time together for a meal you’re not likely to forget.

4. Actively keep in touch

In today’s busy world, relationships are easily lost in the day-to-day hubbub, so the best way to build a rapport with your sibling is simply to put in the effort to keep in touch. Set yourself a goal on how often you want to interact with them, and drop them texts or calls at regular intervals to check up on each other. Most of all, try to have meaningful conversations as often as you can and ask after one another, for a little care goes a long way. Relationships with siblings can often be taken for granted, but like any other relationship, they bloom best when watered with love and attention.