Tuesday, July 24, 2012
Helping Siblings to Get Along
All siblings argue now and then. But if your children have frequent, intense fights, you do not have to just stand by and let them treat each other badly. What can parents do about sibling rivalry?
· Avoid comparing one child to another. Most parents are mindful of this tip, however, we may be comparing when we are not even aware of doing it.
· Let children know you understand their feelings even though you don’t agree with them; “Yes, your brother needs more help getting dressed than you do because he’s younger. As he gets older, he will be able to dress on his own.”
· Spend some time alone with each child doing something he or she really enjoys; riding bikes, playing catch, coloring, etc. Ten minutes a day can do wonders!
· If one child says unkind things to you about another, remind him that “she’s still one of us no matter how annoying she is sometimes”. That response reassures the child that he would still belong to the family even if a sibling had ill feelings toward him.
· Do not worry about treating all your children exactly alike. Children need comfort, help and encouragement at different times and in different ways. When a child questions the attention you give to his sibling, reassure him that when he needs help, you will provide it. “Your sister needs a little extra help with her spelling words this week; I will certainly give you extra time when you need it, too.”
· Keep in mind that you don’t have to get involved in every sibling argument. Children can often work things out themselves.
· Try walking out of the room when squabbles start. If siblings don’t have an audience, they may stop squabbling.