Today I thought we’d talk about sibling rivalry, it’s just a fact of life when we have more than one child.
The other day I watched a desperate mom in Target try to calm her squabbling children and it reminded me of when I felt like a referee in my own home.
Constant picking on one another, teasing each other until someone erupted and things got noisy.
Unfortunately I can’t say…when they reach the magical age of _____ it all stops.
I don’t think we’ll ever eliminate it altogether, but there are a few things that Moms can do to keep from pulling our hair out.
• Try not to get involved unless there’s a danger that someone’s going to get hurt. Let them work it out. If you constantly step in you could send a message to the kids that they don’t need to resolve it, MOM will.
• Separate the kids until they are calm- I remember a time in the grocery store when I put one child on one side of the cart and the other on the other.
• Help your kids to understand that everything is not always “fair” or “equal”
• Use some of the arguments as an opportunity to teach your kids about saying ‘I’m sorry’ and forgiving one another. Help them resolve things without “making” them resolve it.
• Have clear boundaries with each other’s toys and possessions.
• If they constantly squabble about the same thing (video games or tv) post a schedule.
• Have fun together as a family. Give your kids opportunities to get along with each other in fun situations. (Example, going to Gull Meadow’s farm with the kids, sledding in the winter, etc.)
And sometimes kids need that assurance that their place in the home is safe and extremely important. Like that little boy on Cheaper by the Dozen who felt that he “didn’t fit” in the family, our kids need us to assure them of how important they are to the family and that they fill a place no one else could fill.
And know that sibling rivalry is a normal part of childhood and growth. If your kids are fighting, it doesn’t make you a bad mom …it just makes you a REAL mom!
The “Real Moms of West Michigan” airs Tuesday mornings at 7:05 AM EST.
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