This whole time I thought that a screaming head slap was the way my kids were supposed to act out their frustration!
Okay, I am really not that ignorant, but the ease at which my girls employ this would seem as though I had trained them individually. Thankfully, however, there are moments when hugs and kisses prevail.
But how do you encourage and further the good stuff? While I sometimes like to kid myself that I am especially equipped to bring harmony and order to my children, it is normally a timely piece of advice that I find most useful…..hence the following little nugget.
During my reading efforts, I came across a short online article from the National Fatherhood Initiative that discussed a few practical things that can be done to settle common sibling squabbles. This excerpt, taken directly from the website, can be put in to play right away.
They suggest that:
“Set Firm Rules and Clear Expectations. Whether you have one child or five, if your kids know the rules and know what is expected from them, they definitely won’t behave perfectly, but you will be able to point to clear, known standards. This will keep things fair and help you to show your children that that is your goal. Also, clear rules allow you to teach your kids your values and what is important to your family.
Get To Know Each Child.Your kids can sense if you have favorites and may act out accordingly. You may find yourself gravitating to one child who has similar interests. Or maybe you are avoiding time with your daughter because you’re just not sure how to relate to her. But, it is essential that you get to know each of your children – who they are, how they feel about different things, their interests, etc. This will also help you know how best to guide them as they grow.
Create Space. Sometimes, everyone just needs a little space. Give your children separate chores or take some out with you on an errand while everyone else stays home. Yes, it is important that you kids learn to work together, but sometimes a little space helps everyone calm down.
Don’t Try To Solve Everything. One of the great things about having siblings is it provides an opportunity for your kids to learn communication and conflict resolution. As your children get older – late elementary school and beyond – encourage them to work out their own grievances. Equip them with basic communications skills, help guide and facilitate conversations, but don’t always jump to fix it.“