They are Fighting over a Toy AGAIN!!!

Do your children fight over toys all the time? Maybe something else? What do you do when this happens? Do you insist that one gets the toy over the other? If you do you are in fact driving a wedge between the two and insuring that the fighting will continue. Never ever take sides, even when one is so far in the wrong its obvious. By taking sides you start a me verses them outlook and the "mom loves you more then me" attitude will start to take shape. So what should you do?

If they are fighting over something, take it away, no one gets it. If they can't get along then they need to go to seperate rooms until they can. Both of them, not just one, no time outs no inforced punishments, no taking sides. They need to sort out how to get along with each other on their own, without you running interference. You are a parent not a referee. So if one is obviously the instigator then why should both go to their rooms?

Natural consequence for fighting is to go to their rooms, doesn't matter who started it or who's fault it is. If you start assining blame you'll be playing the blame game for the next 30 or more years, who started it, who's to blame this time? All of a sudden you are no longer a parent, you are judge, jury and executioner. You are who they will come to in order to be proven right and you'll drive the wedge between them even deeper.

Its not about justice, its about learning to get along and be there for each other. When they get out into the world do you want them to constantly be demanding justice and placing blame on everyone or do you want them to be able to get along with others?

Teaching Siblings to have an Attitude of Responsibility

When I became pregnant with my daughter my son was 3 years old. We had 8 months to talk about what it meant to be a big brother and how life would be different. When my daughter came my son was instantly 'in love' with her and we created an attitude of responsibility in him. He is responsible for taking care of her. When she was a baby she couldn't be responsible for him, but as she grew we started creating an attitude of responsibility in her as well. She is responsible for taking care of him too. He watches out for her and she watches out for him.

I am almost daily asking them to watch out for each other and to help each other. Every day I ask them to tell each other they love each other and communicate their feelings as much as they can. They do it now out of habit and automatically, each one caring for the other and worrying about the others well being. If one hurts or upsets the other, immediately it is their responsibility to make them feel better. I don't send them off to their room or have them give a half assed apology. They are responsible for making the other happy again.

By now your probably thinking I'm locco and their is no way your kids will do this. I would have both of them stand in front of me and ask questions about what happened and then ask questions putting them in each others shoes, sorta speak. "How would you feel if he.... " In the end they would have to hug and say I love you. I would remind the one that made the infraction that it was their responsibility to make the other happy again, not mine. I didn't make the child cry, I wasn't the one to fix it, they needed to fix it.

I would give them choices as well, try to ask enough leading questions as possible to get to the end result. The main thing for me was to stay out of it. I didn't punish or fix, they had to do it themselves. If I stepped in as enforcer, I would be creating a wedge between them and not teaching them how to fix the relationship themselves. It takes extra effort and self control on your part, but in the end you will have a lot less headaches and a lot less work to do.

In association with

Raising Siblings to Be Friends

In association with

I was about to enter a new post in my WAHM support and resources blog when I had a sudden urge to start a new blog on raising siblings to be friends. As I sat here under my electric blanket, it's -46 outside, I could hear my son helping his sister with her kindergarten homework book - they are suppost to be going to sleep. I started to think how wonderful their relationship is and how amazing they are. So a new blog is born, raising siblings to be friends.

I have a brother and to say we are not friends is an understatement. We aren't enemies but we are far from friends, this was always an issue for me. So when I had kids, it was extremly important to me that they be friends and then siblings.

My kids rarely fight. I'm not kidding, they rarely fight and when they do it lasts all of 2 minutes and then they are best of buds again. I must be lying right? I'm not, they rarely fight.

I wish I could say I'm a brilliant parent that has unlocked the secrets of the universe, but I can't. I have learned and stumbled along the way, just like any other parent. We've all heard that kids don't come with manuals, well, that's not true. It is true that they don't come out the birth canal and say hey mom here's the manual for taking care of 'me.' However, walk into your local Chapters or search 'parenting' on and you'll find 100s of "manuals." Reading has been my salvation, that combined with experience and two great kids.

Best Sibling Book:

I think I'll have to split them up now, not because they are fighting but because they need to stop talking and get to sleep. I am hoping that over the course of blogging you will find some pearls of advice, some ideas, and coping mechanisms to help you raise sibilings that are friends.


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