<%-- Page Title--%> Trends <%-- End Page Title--%>

<%-- Volume Number --%> Vol 1 Num 107 <%-- End Volume Number --%>

May 30, 2003

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Squabbling Siblings

"Mom, she hit me!" "But she started it!" The sound of squabbling siblings is enough to make your hair stand on end. How can two members of the same family love each other, yet treat each other so horribly? Parents can't understand why the children they love so much seem to hate each other so much. Here are some tried and tested ways that real parents have dealt with sibling rivalry.

Dispelling Tension

"I have two children who are 19 months apart. When they are fighting, the most horrible thing I can do to my kids is make them share a chair and look at each other in a mirror. With all the goofy faces they make in the mirror the disagreement is soon forgotten and they are laughing like best friends. And if they feel the need to continue the fight after a few minutes in the no-no chair, I assign them some physical labour. Then, the excess energy they are directing toward each other is soon put to better use hauling rocks."

Starting with You

"I have eight children. We had a house full of teens for many years. There was a lot going on with that many hormones and that many agendas to fill. About 11 years ago when my daughter was 15 and there was a lot of fighting and misbehaviour going on in our home, I took a parent education instructor course and began to teach parent education classes. This was the best thing I ever did for my children. I really enjoyed helping other parents with their families, but I always got more out of the classes than they did. Slowly, things began to change around our house. The children fought less and less and we began to have a lot more fun as a family. As the misbehaviour diminished, the relationships improved as well as the communication and honesty. The key to this great change was me. When I changed my attitude towards my children and the way I treated them, they began to change. But I had to change first. You can have the kind of family you want if you're willing to work at it and be patient for the improvements to come."

The Element of Surprise

"My pre-teen daughters who are 15 months apart really can go at it sometimes. A friend was over once and witnessed the insipid mayhem and she gave me this advice: just take a deep breath, put your hands on your hips and say with a completely serious face, 'Girls, I am just APPALLED that you would continue with this RIDICULOUS behaviour.' And you know what, sometimes this works at our house. It takes them by surprise!"

An Arsenal of Tools

"I have a daughter, age 9, and son, age 6-1/2. A couple of things we do to keep sibling rivalry at a minimum are: 1) unless there is bodily injury, we refuse to become involved in incidents we did not witness, this way we are not manipulated nearly as often; 2) try to see that the younger one can be the aggressor, and not always rush to his defense; 3) if the two are fighting over something, take it away. This really cuts down on squabbling over stuff."

Source: The Internet

Different parents have different ways of dealing with their children's sibling rivalry. It is up to you to discover and put into practice what works best for you and your children.


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