unable to cope with siblings fights
MOST HELPFUL POSTS
Jennifer - posted on 09/20/2009
As a former kinder teacher and a foster parent who has had several sibling groups I can share a couple of techniques I use. Sometimes they work and sometimes they don't! ;-) 1)Put the object in "time out" and act as if it is at fault. 2)Make sure that each child does have a box or area to keep "special" or "favorite" items in. For instance our rule is if it is inthe playroom it WILL be shared. 3) Let them "fight" it out. (This does not work if you have physically (or ligually) agressive kids.) Often with a little tolarance for noise level it is amazing what the kids come up with to work out a problem. 4) I try to keep it in perspective. What seems "silly" and "trivial" to us grown ups is that way because now we fight over much more important issues! ;-) 5) Hear both kids side. Sometimes they argue just so YOU, the Mom will listen to them. I will add that developmentally your 3 year old is going to need the most support and guidence because he really is still learning turn taking and sharing skills. The 5 year old probably has those down but could still use some help in learning to negotiate and mediate on his behalf.
I have a 4 1/2 year old daughter and a 3 year old son. They fight constantly over everything, even over who is going to help mommy with something. I tend to agree with all the answers above, especially the one about crying it out in their bedroom. I explain to both of them that they are not babies and if they want to cry like babies, then they can cry in their room. Normally now because I have stuck with that, when I say go cry in their room it automatically stops so that they don't have to be in their room alone. I also believe in the toys on time out when they are fighting over it. I always make sure to put it where they can still see it, but can't get to it. I sit them both down and have them look at me while I explain that the toy isn't coming back until they can learn to share. Bunches of toys end up on top of my fridge that way. I just return them the next morning and explain again that if they can't play nice and share that the toy will have to go on time out again. I very rarely punish them for fighting though. Each of them normally gives as good as they get, even when it turns physical. When I do punish them for fighting, I always punish both of them though because they were both wrong for doing it. All of it is basically a cry for attention. The fighting and the fits. I find that it helps to have what I call "mommy time" where I spend time with each of them one on one. It isn't always easy, but I manage to do it and it has actually helped with them fighting less. It doesn't even have to be for a long period of time. Normally I will do a small activity with one like read a book while the other is watching cartoons and then trade off and do an activity with the other. Just a suggestion. Wish you good luck and hope you find something that works.
Cortney - posted on 09/24/2009
When they don't stop stop fussing and are clean, dry, and uninjured, I send them to their rooms to fuss with no one to watch. I tell them they can come out when they stop crying. Without someone watching them, they generally cry themselves out, and stop, and settle down. At 3 they are old enough to reason that if they cry long enough, they just might get their way. If you give in, next time, the fuss starts over and gets worse.
I have one that will fuss and cry every time thinking that he will get his way. Till I tell him to go to his room. It takes him 10 seconds to calm down, because he knows that I mean it when I say that he can stay there till he calms down.
Cortney - posted on 09/21/2009
I have 3 year old twins, and I agree with most of the answers. I take the toys away. If there is a physical injury to one of them, I give the hitter a time out. Then I check on the hurt one, and make sure he is ok, then go talk to the one in time out, make sure they understand what they did wrong. But the rule in our house (with the TV, books, toys) is that if they can't agree or share, then they don't get it. I have to deal with some crying when I take it away, but it works.
Alison - posted on 09/21/2009
I read a great book a few years ago - Breaking the Good Mom Myth. She suggests that the younger sibling will generally provoke the older to get attention, and the older will react to (bully) the younger to get attention. That even when it gets physical, they are not looking to hurt the other. She recommends that whenever possible, you avoid intervention.
My girls are only 1 and 3. I try to provide strategies to my 3-year-old to help her manage conflicts. If her little sister is hitting her with a toy, I tell her to take the toy away. If her little sister is trying to steal part of her snack, I tell her to give her a piece.
If they fight over the computer, I turn off the computer. If they fight over a toy, I take away the toy. Basically, ensure that there is no pay-off for fighting.
Carole - posted on 09/17/2009
Well I hear ya on this one.. I have a (12 yrs,8yr Girls)& a( 3yr Boy)& they fight alot to over silly things & I dont know who to punish first either. I usually tell the oldest she should know better but on the other hand it's the youngest who seem to start it. I just tell them we don't fight with each other & if they want something that the other has just ask for it nicely & that seems to work. Good Luck I hope this helps :00
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