Monday, July 21, 2014

Sibling Rivalry

Like most parents, the kids fighting really grates on our nerves. How can we have peace in our lives with this constant bickering. I'm tired of being their referee!

Here's a nice summary from the book Siblings Without Rivarly:

Level I - Normal Bickering
Ignore it!

Level II - Situation heating up, adult intervention might be helpful
1. Acknowledge their anger (e.g. "you two sound mad at eachother")
2. Reflect Each Child's Point of View (e.g. "So Johnny you want to play with the game because you found it first. And you Susie feel you are entitled to a turn too")
3. Describe the Problem with Respect (e.g. "That's a tough one -- two children and only one game")
4. Express confidence in the children's ability to find their own solution
(I'm sure you two can work out a solution that's fair to each of you")
5. Leave the room

Level III - Situation Possibly Dangerous
1. Inquire (e.g. "is this a play fight or a real fight?")
2. Reminding children that playfighting is by mutual consent -- if both aren't haven't fun, then it's got to stop
3. Respect your feelings (e.g. "you may be playing, but it's too rough for me. You need to find another activity")

Level IV - Situation Definitely Dangerous Adult Intervention Necessary
1. Describe what you see (e.g. "I see two very angry children who are about to hurt each other")
2. Separate the children ("It's not safe to be together. We must have a cooling-off period. Quick, you to your room and you to mine")

BLEH!! I'm so used to jumping in and screaming at them. How can I possibly stay calm enough to be empathetic? Apparently this works. I have friends who say this WORKS.

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