Posts Tagged: Parenting

Can’t Ignore the Sibling Fighting? Put Them in the Same Boat.


I recently posted a parenting tip for handling sibling fighting that recommended you walk away and refuse to get involved in the conflict. I know for some of you, the worry is that your children are either too physical or too young, and still need your involvement.

That’s completely fine. If ignoring is not going to be a viable tool for you, then let me offer up another method called: “Putting Them in the Same Boot.”

This tool ensures that both children involved in the conflict perceive that you are not siding with one over the other. This method makes sure there is no accidental favoritism that can erode the sibling relationship.  It honors the fact that in any conflict, both parties are able to influence the outcome.  Since fighting requires both children to keep the situation hostile and unresolved, both should experience the same discipline for their disruptive antics, regardless of who started it, who had it first, or who owns it.  None of that matters!  If fighting erupts and doesn’t resolve itself, and you feel you must step in, try one of these lines:

“Looks like you two are having trouble being together at the moment. You can both go to your rooms and cool down for 5 minutes.”

“I guess I will have to put away the riding truck until you two can figure out how to share it without fighting.  When you have a plan worked out, come get me and I’ll give it back.”

“If you can’t agree on how to take turns on the family computer without fighting, the computer will be turned off for this evening. You can both try again tomorrow.”

“I am having a hard time enjoying my dinner when you’re at each other like this.  I’m going to take my plate to the kitchen.  Call me when table is peaceful again and I’ll come back.”

With both children being put in the same boat, they are now interested in getting their brother or sister to be cooperative with them rather than sustaining the conflict. With this new method, they are invested in not upsetting the other.

Give it a try and let me know it goes for you.  If you’ve already had success with this method, share your stories! Nothing is more motivating than someone else’s success story.

 

About the Author:

Alyson Schafer

Alyson Schafer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alyson Schafer is a psychotherapist and one of Canada’s most notable parenting experts. She is the resident expert on The Marilyn Denis Show, CTV News Channel and CBC’s The World This Weekend. Alyson is an “Ask an Expert” Columnist for Today’s Parent Magazine, and sits on the Health Advisory Board for Chatelaine Magazine.  Alyson is the best selling author of “Breaking The Good Mom Myth” and “Honey, I Wrecked The Kids” and her latest, “Ain’t Misbehavin”.  She is an international speaker including the inaugural TEDxKids in Brussels and offers free parenting tips at www.alysonschafer.com

Kids are NOT Mean

After his goal. This is what support looks like.

There’s a general statement I often hear about kids, usually when there has been an incident of bullying or unkind behavior. That statement is “kids are so mean”. I cringe every time I hear it because:

a)      It’s not true

b)      Generalizations don’t serve anyone well and usually end up making me feel twitchy.

Unlike the bullying stories you often hear, I recently had an experience with my 14-year-old son that left me completely overwhelmed with how kind and supportive teenage boys can be.

He was out of town with his hockey team participating in a tournament.  I worried that it might be a bit awkward socially, since the boys on the team didn’t know each other very well heading into the tournament.  I was sure to send Daddy-o and son off with the Xbox and a load of junkie drinks and chips. That way, my kid’s room would be the “cool” place for them to hang out. When you’re raising a child with autism, you are always thinking about setting him up for success socially.

Daddy-o was giving me e-mail updates throughout the second game of the tournament, and what I was reading brought me to my knees. Here’s what happened:

  • My kid got his first goal of the season. The bench cleared and his team went crazy congratulating him. In fact, our coach had to let the other coach know that it was his first goal and that they weren’t in fact rubbing it in that they had gotten so far ahead;
  • Then my kid scored a second goal. More hysteria ensues. With one minute of play left, our coach was sending out the last lineup of players. One of the boys getting sent onto the ice asked coach if Mack could go out in his place so that he’d have a shot at getting a hat trick. Yes, a teammate gave up his own ice time for my son.
  • After the game, his teammates decided he should be the tournament captain. A white “C” made of hockey tape was applied to his jersey, and he was given the game puck.

So you see why I don’t believe that kids are mean. We can’t forget about the coaches either. Any coach who can create an environment of support and peer encouragement for a bunch of testosterony 14-year-old boys has clearly worked some magic.

 

About the Author:

Julie Cole Mabel's Labels

Julie Cole

Julie Cole is co-founder of Mabel’s Labels Inc., the leading provider of kids’ labels, and a proud mom of six. Getting into the excitement of hockey right now? Be sure to grab your Hockey Label Combo today!

An open letter to my daughters – from your over-thinking Mom.

Dear Anna and Lauren,

I’m writing to you today for the same reason that I always blog about you or write to you. So that one day, when you’re grown, you’ll hopefully be interested in knowing how your Mom thought and felt about your childhood and raising you when you were wee.  And you’ll be able to read all about it.

(Goodness knows I won’t remember all the little details.)

I want to give you a look into the inner ramblings of my mind. And it goes a little something like this:

 

I’m laying in bed.

I’m thinking instead of sleeping again. I’m thinking about how late it is. Thinking about you two.

I turn over and stare at a strong, quiet face – covered in stubble. It’s a peaceful face. Sound asleep. It’s one of your most favourite faces in the world.

I marvel at how the brain inside that head has the ability to be so carefree. I wonder if he ever lays awake thinking about every little thing that happened that day. Would sleep ever take a backseat to the worry that he didn’t do good enough today?

I wonder if your little 4-year-old self will remember that I lost my cool and yelled at you this morning? Or will you remember the afternoon we played on your bed for over an hour – kissing and hugging, then laughing… hiding under the covers, giggling and rolling around.

Will you, my sweet little 2-year-old, have happy memories growing up in our house? Playing in the court outside, running and biking and picking up leaves and insects. Will you think I took enough pictures of you? Will you talk about our family vacations with fondness when you’re grown?

What does it take to do it right? What do I need to do? What do I need to say?

Of course, I realize, for the most part I just need to be. Be present. Be here for you. Kiss your boo-boos. Hug you each morning. Tell you how happy I am to see you when you get home from school. Just be me.

Because “me” is someone who loves you intensely. Who can’t quite remember being someone other than your Mom.

Someone who will always do things like smile and laugh with an incredible amount of pride at the sight of you jumping on the trampoline at gymnastics class. Or immediately start bawling when you give me your first Mother’s Day card made at daycare.

And as you get older, as we make different choices together – I’m learning. About you, and me, and the decisions I have to make as a parent.

And I’ve realized that there’s no script to follow. I can’t answer the question “what does it take to be a good Mom”. There are no rules for everyone to obey.

But, I do know that it doesn’t matter if we stay at home or go to work, have one child or have six, if they’ve got special needs or not, if we believe in attachment parenting or if we’re laissez-faire. We all have the same worries. The same feelings. The same questions.

And we all love like we’ve never loved before.

Remember that, my girls. Remember that I love you. Remember that, Moms. Remember that you love like you’ve never loved before.

And for that reason, the kids are going to be alright.

Everything’s going to be alright.

We’re alright Mommy. You can stop worrying so much. (For now…)

 

About the Author:

Heather Dixon is a copywriter at Mabel’s Labels, a smoothie aficionado, a runner, a wife and a Mom to two – soon to be three! – highly advanced little girls (according to her husband and her).

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