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Ultimate Guide for Handling Sibling Rivalry Effectively

A FINE PARENT presents How to Effectively Deal with SIBLING RIVALRY Based on the book "Peaceful Parent, Happy Siblings" by Dr. Laura Markham THE NEW BABY AS SEEN BY PARENTS AS SEEN BY SIBLINGS A gift for the older child I'm being replaced A friend for life I have competition A way to multiply love My parents will divide their love How can I make sure I get the bigger share? Sibling rivalry is not just normal, but expected. Start your children's relationship on the right foot and pro- vide the right tools so they can appreciate each other and become friends for life. WHAT CAN PARENTS D O WHEN SIBLING RIVALRY ERUPTS? Do the kids have the tools to resolve this themselves? You've done a great job! Your involvement is no Are you calm enough NO YES to handle it? longer required. Are they physically fighting? YES NO • Physically separate them • Don't yell at aggressor • Calmly administer care / comfort NO YES *Use calming strategies (like taking deep breaths while counting) to get a hold of yourself first • Involve the aggressor gently • Institute a cooling off period • Lead towards communication Are the kids YES NO communicating well? See sections below to start coaching kids about: Yaay! Kids are practicing communi- cation skills! Jump in only if necessary. Wait until the storm emotional intelligence skills passes... problem solving skills negotiation skills • Don't force an apology • Help make repairs • Set expectations that every conflict always ends in repairs Was the conflict triggered by competitiveness? YES NO Yaay! You're doing a great job. Pat yourself on your back and indulge in a box of chocolates. e See section below Are you taking steps to nurture bonding and YES to reduce competitiveness prevent future incidents? See section below to start NO preventive maintenance TEACHING KIDS EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE SKILLS Goal: Help kids understand their emotions so they can regulate their behavior. E.g., when big brother grabs the ball, little brother will neither cry nor hit, but will say "I'm still playing with that. Can I have it back, please?" Empathize with kids emotions. Teach / model blame-free communication. Teach each child to: identify and state their needs listen and respond to their siblings' needs set firm limits 11 STEPS FOR PROBLEM SOLVING SUCCESS Goal: Help kids solve problems that aren't sorted through simple com- munication. (At first, you will help them through these steps. Over time, they will do it themselves.) Stay calm Remember: the "problem" is the situation, not the other party If the conflict is over an object, nobody 3 gets it until resolution If a family rule already exists for this situation, the rule prevails 5 Each party comes up with potential solutions 6. Write down every solution. No solution is too silly Go through solutions to eliminate those not agreed by all Add new solutions and 8 compromises as they come up Repeat until converged on a win-win solution 10 On agreement, ensure its fair implementation 11 Add it to the family rule book if applicable. TEACHING KIDS NEGOTIATION SKILLS Goal: Proactively teach kids skills necessary to navigate the inevitable conflicts of daily life. Trading: "I'll give you this for that" Sweetening the deal: "I really want that, so l'll trade you this, this and this" Taking turns: "I can't give you this now, but you can have your turn after 5 minutes" Taking turns and sweetening the deal: "If you let me take a turn first, your turn can be 5 minutes longer" Dividing the treat: "If you divide, I pick." Teamwork: "Let's clean up together, so we can go to the park sooner" Making agreements or rules: "If you promise not to disturb my phone calls, I promise not to bother you while watching TV" Writing agreements: "Let's put that down on paper and sign on it" TIPS TO EASE SIBLING COMPETITION Goal: Reduce insecurity and competitiveness among siblings. Acknowledge and empathize with any feelings of unfairness, without actually agreeing Don't get hooked into com- parison and competition Buy material possessions based on need. Give love unconditionally Don't assign roles based on gender or age Appreciate/praise each child individually Avoid labels Find games that require team- work, instead of competition Make losing palatable When possible, allow kids to "defeat" you instead of siblings Discourage gloating TOOLS TO NURTURE BONDING AND PREVENT FUTURE SIBLING RIVALRY Goal: Strengthen the family bond to nip sibling rivalry before it erupts. Honor individuality. Fill each child's bucket (often) with love and attention Celebrate differences Acknowledge/praise when you notice kids helping each other Talk about how lucky you are to have each other Embrace rituals and traditions in teams for chores that foster bonding Notice and promote activities where kids play together Avoid interrupting happy play Unite kids in a team and pit them against yourself Encourage oxytocin-induc- ing activities (e.g., laughing, singing, dancing, rough- housing etc.) Put your kids in charge of projects together Interrupt unkindness Help kids establish limits and safety rules for play fights Ensure each gets some per- sonal space Commit to a no-blame household and win-win solutions Brought to you by AFineParent.com Based on the book "Peaceful Parent, Happy Siblings" by Dr. Laura Markham Peaceful Parent, HAPPY SIBLINGS http://www.ahaparenting.com/peaceful-parent-happy-siblings For more details: http://afineparent.com/sibling-rivalry * Dr. Laura Markham's previous book "Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids" provides many more strategies to become a peaceful parent.

Ultimate Guide for Handling Sibling Rivalry Effectively

shared by afineparent on Jun 05
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A decision making flowchart for when/how parents can respond to sibling conflicts + tips & checklists to teach emotional intelligence, problem solving skills, negotiation skills, reduce competition an...

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