Posts Tagged ‘Siblings’

Do you get sick of saying, “Be nice to your brother?” Show it instead. Make a heart out of construction paper. Every time your daughter treats her sibling badly, hand her the paper heart, then walk away. No lecture, no yelling, just a visual that will tell the story. Another, all-purpose option: a discreet thumbs up or thumbs down, or even a zip it motion across your lips. Most importantly, be consistent with these actions. See our previous post on drama. Leave us your comments. Your feedback is greatly appreciated. Let us know what other topics you would like to have discussed. Share this post with your family and friends. Remember to always praise your child.

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When you finish X, you may enjoy Y.

As is the case in just about every household I know with kids, no two weekdays look alike. But every day, at some point, I allow my kids to watch one TV show. It is the some point that causes the problem. My first grader, David, has difficulty figuring out when he is going to be allowed his precious TV time. Every day, the minute we walk into the house, whether it is 2 P.M. or 6 P.M., he wants to know “When can I watch TV?” And I can not stand the daily barrage of begging, whining, and pleading that inevitably leads me to say no over and over again.

This is where I instituted the when/then strategy. When all the must do activities are finished, then David can have TV time. Because David’s TV time also depends in part on his siblings’ commitments, I lay out the full schedule for the day for him. “Jenna has gymnastics today, so when we get home from dropping her off, you and Joe need to clean up the playroom, and then yes you can watch a TV show.

Once David has the information for the day, he does not feel insecure about whether TV is going to happen or not. He is no longer constantly checking in with me because he now knows exactly what needs to happen, and I find I am saying yes a lot more often. I am successfully using when/then at other tricky times of the day too. For instance, when you brush your teeth, then we can read a book together and at mealtime when the dinner plates are cleared, then we will serve dessert. Here you can check out part 1 of this series.

Leave us your comments. Your feedback is greatly appreciated. Let us know what other topics you would like to have discussed. Share this post with your family and friends. Remember to always praise your child.

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If you do need to get involved, your job is not to decide who is right and who is wrong. You are just simply a mediator. Start the conversation by stating what you have seen or heard. “You seem to be having trouble deciding who gets to wear the fancy dress up shoes.” Have each child tell their side of the story without shouting or hurling insults. Just to make sure they are listening to each other, have them repeat what the other has said. Then you can ask the million dollar question, “What can we do to solve this?” Let each child share their ideas. Try one of the proposed solutions, no matter how crazy it sounds. “OK, we can give the shoes a time-out in the freezer.” If they do need further direction, offer them some suggestions. “Each of you could wear the shoes for 10 minutes, we will set the timer to keep track.” Keep reminding yourself that your kids are practicing the art of conflict resolution. They are expressing themselves calmly, listening, validating other perspectives, and coming to an agreement. This approach requires time, energy, and great patience, but the payoff is well worth it. Doing it every time they fight is difficult. But if you adopt this strategy a few times, they will pick up on it.  And eventually, they will learn to resolve disagreements without you, which is the whole point of being a parent. Leave us your comments. Your feedback is greatly appreciated. Let us know what other topics you would like to have discussed. Share this post with your family and friends. Remember to always praise your child.

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When your kids are in the middle of a quarrel, check in to make sure it is not becoming physical or emotionally heated. Then let them know you would like them to resolve the conflict on their own (but that you are happy to help out if it becomes necessary). I find myself doing this on a few occasions. Especially when it comes to the XBoxOne. You should always intervene if one of your kids is being verbally abusive (“You are a stupid idiot and everyone hates you”). Another reason you should step in is if one is destroying the others cherished possessions. If they are hitting or biting is another cause for you to jump in. Children who taunt, insult, slap, or push their siblings can do as much mental and physical damage as any playground bully.  Leave us your comments. Your feedback is greatly appreciated. Let us know what other topics you would like to have discussed. Share this post with your family and friends. Remember to always praise your child.

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Preventing fights from flaring up in the first place is the best way to promote harmony in your family. Start by referring to your children as a team as often as possible. (“You guys are such a good clean up crew.”) or (“You two are quite the silly dancing duo.”) This gets you in the habit of praising their positive interactions. I myself will sometimes go the other way at poking fun at them. (“Your singing together sounds like chickens squawking during a fire alarm.”) Not only does this make them laugh, but it also moves them to defend their Ariana Grande like abilities to me, as a team.

Siblings who feel like they are working together, rather than being against each other, will naturally help each other out. Set up some situations in which your kids join forces, such as building a fort or making cupcakes. In order to earn playtime have them do chores together, such as clearing the table. The younger kids can clear the dishes and the older ones can stack and wash them. Then work as a team to dry them and put them away. If you have a dishwasher, give it the night off to do this. Working together, it will take no time at all. Leave us your comments. Your feedback is greatly appreciated. Let us know what other topics you would like to have discussed. Share this post with your family and friends. Remember to always praise your child.

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If you have had it up to here with your kids constant bickering, we can help you to reach a sibling cease fire.

First, there is the screaming fit over who gets to put the key in the front door lock. Then, there is the shoving over whose turn it is to sit on the window bench. Finally, there is the Disney dance party turned into WWE cage match, which ends with one of the kids shouting, “I didn’t do it!” and the other yelling, “He started it!” and me yelling, “Stop yelling!”

As the thoughts turn in my head, “I have lost control of the asylum.” The kids fight every single day: in the car, in the bathroom, in the grocery store. These 2 little boys who barely a year ago were so close, now feud like the Kardashians. Way too much of our family time is spent negotiating a truce. Yet nothing gets resolved. The next morning, the battle hymn begins and just like that they are off to the front line.

Of course, it is comforting to know we are not the only ones whose kids spar. Studies have found that kids 3-10 usually have arguments several times an hour. Whether you have girls, boys, or a mix does not matter. Most siblings squabble.

While it is true that disagreements can help brothers and sisters hone their social skills such as a negotiation and compromise, there is a downside. Frequently, intensive fighting heightens kids risk of depression and anxiety and can lower their self esteem. Battling siblings are more likely to engage in delinquent behaviors, including drug use as adults.

That puts a new perspective on our latest scuffle of the day (over who owns the Lego T-shirt). It does concern me: I can not deal with another 10 years of being a referee and I do not want them growing up to be bickering, sniping, it is not fair, I hate you siblings.

It is a real possibility, though. The way your kids interact early on tends to stay consistent as they get older. Work with your kids, especially from the ages of 4-8 and help them learn to resolve differences and manage their emotions. The good news is you can change the pattern of fighting among your kids. But you have to be willing to put in the work.

Our next several posts will give you tips on ways you can help manage their behaviors and help them grow and mature. Leave us your comments. Your feedback is greatly appreciated. Let us know what other topics you would like to have discussed. Share this post with your family and friends. Remember to always praise your child.

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bickering

Can’t you just get along.