Sibling rivalry. Ahhh!!

User - posted on 02/28/2010 ( 2 moms have responded )

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My kids are 4, 6, and 8 and they fight constantly! How can I effectively intervene?

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Rebecca - posted on 02/28/2010

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well, we got an excellent book called Siblings without Rivalry that had some great tips in it. My girls are 6 and 3; sibling rivalry was escalating. I found the main reason was that they don't communicate effectively with each other, and rather grab, snatch and hit to get their way. So first I get them to state what they want to each other (A what do you want? B what do you want?), in a polite way, then I tell them I have every confidence that they can figure out a way to solve the problem between them if they are polite to each other. Then I leave them to it; they normally come up with a mutually acceptable solution, although sometimes I have to intervene again. Then I tell them they have one more chance to come up with their own solution, otherwise I will make the choice for them. They know that my solutions benefit neither of them, so this usually gets them finding ways to agree.

BUT, and I think this is important, kids seems to fight more when they've been doing stuff on their own for a while, so sometimes I see their squabbling as a sign they need some parent-time ... so sometimes I go and join them and play with them together or individually as needed (sometimes the 3 year old needs to be distracted so the 6 year old can get on with something she wants to do on her own).

siblings can offer the biggest learning curve to all children in terms of working out how to problem solve, how to share, how to negotiate ... your job is in so far as possible to stay out of it and get them practicing those skills. initially you will need to help them with negotiation, but i've found over time all i need to do now is remind them to be polite to each other in stating what they want.

hope it helps.

Patricia - posted on 02/28/2010

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Kids will be kids... though there is no much age difference... get them to play together

spend time doing creative art... giving each one a chance to share responsibility

over each other... and praise how well they get along.. do not get worked up... dancing helps...and praises go a long way.

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