Sibling group leaders

Whether you are setting up a sibling group for the first time or have been running groups for many years, this section will give you guidelines and activities to help you run your group

Ground rules

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Purpose

Ground rules clarify the values of the group, acceptable behaviours and any sanctions that will be imposed if the rules are broken.

If the values of the group are understood and agreed from the start it is unlikely that there will be any regular breaches. If there are, siblings are likely to monitor each other and join in discussions about their behaviour. Group workers can also cite the rules if siblings may be starting to breach the rules and 'nip in the bud' any undesirable behaviours. Taking a sibling aside and expressing concern for their well being is more effective than imposing sanctions for undesirable behaviours.

You will need

Large sheet of paper and poster pens.

How to do it

The ground rules should be formulated in the initial session. They should be signed by all workers and members of the group and displayed during subsequent sessions.

It is worth spending time discussing the rules but do not spend too much time or the siblings will lose interest – fifteen minutes should be long enough.

Keep the rules simple and few and explain in language that the children understand. With older groups they may like to set their own. Try to make them positive eg "treat with respect" rather than "No kicking"

We suggest these themes:

  • Safety rules for the venue
  • Behaviour
  • Confidentiality
  • Child protection statement
  • All have an equal voice
  • Respect for others