It’s a brand new year and while I don’t usually make resolutions I have decided that this year I do have something I would like to work on. I want to learn how to handle my two girls sibling rivalry. My girls are fifteen months apart which means they fight over toys, television, beds, clothes, time with family, and yes even who gets to go to which bathroom!
I’m tired of yelling at them and listening to them yell at each other. I’m tired of feeling like a bad mom because my daughters cant be in the same room for five minutes without yelling, hitting, or making the other one cry and all I can seem to do is yell at them or threaten to put them in their rooms until they are thirty years old. I wake up everyday praying that it will be the day that they will get along and I won’t have a nervous break down. So far I’m closer to a nervous break down then they are at getting along.
I know I cant be the only mother out there with kids that fight day in and day out, but I have to admit sometimes it really seems that way. I watch so many families playing and laughing together in perfect happiness so I know it exists but while they are living the good life my youngest is grabbing her sister by the hair and pulling her down the sidewalk.
I’m sure there are other mothers who feel the way I do though and I’m here to tell you that you are not alone! I’m living the life and I’m as stressed as you are but there is light at the end of the tunnel! I’ve tried everything from time outs to spankings but nothing ever works. They don’t care if I take their toys or threaten to send them to mini boot camp, all they care about is fighting. However, after much research I have found a few things I haven’t tried. It’s amazing sometimes that the simple ways of dealing with things are usually the things we don’t try. I’m not saying these things will stop them from fighting because lets face it, siblings are going to fight but how we deal with it can change the outcome of our lives and our kids.
Jealousy causes huge problems with kids, even if you are trying to show favorites it doesn’t always seem that way to a child. The best way around this is to take some alone time with each child. Plan a simple date with the child, maybe a movie day or a walk in the park. Any thing that will show each child that they are special to you. Along with alone time with you, your child needs their own alone time. My girls share a room and I have noticed that when they are apart for a little while and within their own space they actually act a lot better.
Talk to your children about how to get along and what to do in certain situations, then allow them to use those skills. I find that whenever my kids get into a fight I’m jumping into the middle of it when instead I should be allowing them to figure out how to handle the situation themselves. The best way to teach a child these skills is by not only giving them tips on how to share and compromise but also showing them how to do these things by doing them in our daily lives.
After setting up some ground rules and even a few charts to give them direction during the day we should all find that our kids might not be the perfect angels but that we are able to go through the day without having a nervous break down.
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