Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Taming Sibling Squabbles

When your second child arrived you probably pictured two little children dressed alike, playing together happily for hours….not the hitting, pinching and arguing that often goes on between siblings. As a mother to five children, I am no stranger to sibling squabbles. With that many different personalities in the house, squabbles are bound to happen.

The home is where we learn how to interact with others, luckily in an environment of love. Sibling squabbles are also learning experiences for our children. They are learning how to express their feelings and frustrations. Unfortunately they usually result in yelling or hitting (or hair pulling, toy throwing…the list could go on, but I will spare you). Instead of yelling and screaming yourself (which at the end of a crazy, busy day that is all we want to do, right), if you treat it like a teaching opportunity you can resolve the squabble, and hopefully teach your child how to act in a frustrating situation at the same time.

Here are my tips for diffusing a sibling squabble:

Don’t believe everything you hear! We all tend to tell a story so that we come out looking good and others appear to blame, right? Well your kids are even more likely to do this. Getting the whole story is almost impossible, so get what you can and go from there.

Assume that both children are to blame. There are instances where this is not the case, but they are few and far between. Addressing both sides of the story gives each child a feeling that you care.

Calmly (yeah I know you wanna yell now, but we are trying to teach them NOT to yell at each other so you know…) explain why their behavior was inappropriate and issue appropriate disciplinary actions (time out, loss of privilege, etc).

Making an effort to understand what makes your children tick can also help you to head off sibling squabbles. If you know that one child really doesn’t like to have their toys moved or touched, teach them how to properly put them away after play, so that siblings can’t get into them.

Sibling squabbles are bound to happen, avoiding them is next to impossible, but handing them well can make it easier on you and your children.

- Christine

Posted by Christine of Random Thoughts With Chris

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