Many parents put sibling rivalry at the top of the list of hugely aggravating and repetitive behavior problems.
When you have more than one child acting up, your life has just become
more complicated. There are more actors in the drama. How are you going
to handle the situation? There is no need to make things more complex
than necessary. Here are three simple and important rules you should
follow that we got from our favorite discipline book 1-2-3 Magic Effective Discipline for Children 2-12 ** by Dr. Thomas Phelan.
These simple rules come in handy during this holiday season as our
lives are busier than ever, and often times these rivalry problems seem
harder to handle than before.
#1 Discipline Both Kids
children are fighting, you should discipline both kids most of the
time, because usually they both helped produce the conflict. Kids are
tricky; some provoke in subtle ways and others in more aggressive ways,
so it is often hard to tell who started the fight—even if you are right
For example, have you ever been driving in the car with the kids in
the back and you hear, “Mom, he’s looking at me again!”? Who started
that one? There’s really no way to tell. So you discipline both
children, unless one is the obvious, unprovoked aggressor and you’re
#2 Never Ask The World’s Two Stupidest Questions
parent knows what these questions are: “What happened?” and “Who
started it?” What do you expect to hear, a version of George
Washington’s “I cannot tell a lie”? “Yes, I started this fight and the
last thirteen consecutive squabbles have also been my personal
responsibility.” That kind of confession won’t happen. Instead, all you
get is the kids blaming one another and yelling.
There are, of course, times when you might need to ask what
happened. If, for instance, you think someone might be physically
injured, you would want to examine the child and find out what caused
the injury. The same thing might be true with other serious or unusual
cases. But for your run-of-the-mill sibling rivalry, trying to find out
what happened is too often a lost cause.
#3 Don’t Expect an Older Child to Act More Mature During a Fight than a Younger Child
if your two kids are eleven years old and four years old, don’t say to
the eleven year old, “She’s only a baby; can’t you put up with a little
teasing?” That comment is the equivalent of loading the gun of the
four-year-old, who will be sure to both appreciate your generosity and
to take maximum advantage of it.
What tips do you have to share on siblings rivalry?
– The Moms Buzz