[sleepsense.net] How to Help Your Kids Get Along
Siblings are going to have their differences and disagreements from time to time. It’s a natural part of growing up together. But that doesn’t make it any easier as a parent to listen to them arguing, or having to intervene in their disputes.
In today’s video, I’ve got some tips that will help you enable your kids to find peaceful resolutions to their differences, without you having to play the disciplinarian, and allowing them to learn how to resolve conflicts on their own.
One of the most common questions that I get asked a lot is how can I help my children get along? I put up a question the other day about what do you need some help with, and the majority of people said, my kids fight with each other, please help with that. So I wanna give you a few tips today for managing at least sibling rivalry.
Now people living in the same house together day in and day out, they’re gonna have arguments. They’re not always gonna get along. So there’s no possible way to eliminate this completely. But there are some things you can do to at least minimize or make it more manageable.
The first thing is, monitor yourself, right. Kids are, they are watching everything. And they learn best from models. So how are you modeling conflict? Right if every time you and your partner have a disagreement it turns into a screaming match, then it’s no surprise that that’s what your kids do when they’re in conflict.
So you wanna teach them how do you have an appropriate conversation with someone when you’re feeling frustrated with them, when you’re feeling angry with them. Right so that they learn these skills. This is a skill set, right? How do you manage angry, frustrated feelings is a really huge skill set.
Not all adults have that mastered yet either. But really monitor yourself. If you need to have a screaming match with your partner, it’s better to completely leave the room, go out on the porch, do whatever you have to so that they don’t see you doing that.
But they do need to see you doing something. We don’t want kids to think that you just stifle feelings either. They need to see positive ways in which to deal with conflict.
Okay so that’s number one and most important.
The next reason why most siblings fight is because of jealousy. And one way to kinda help curb that is to make sure that you’re giving each child their own independent time with you. And that can be hard if you’ve got you know several kids, but what we try to do is plan one day a month, an afternoon with just one-on-one time with one of the children.
My husband even took it a step further this year and did an overnight trip with each of our children one at a time. And that’s a great way to just keep the focus on them, remind them why they’re special to you, remind them why they’re important to you, without having you know anyone else so that they have to fight for your attention.
It’s usually an attention thing, that’s why they’re doing it. So if you can help carve that out, even if just 10 minutes a day you spend dedicated time with one child individually, that is really gonna help.
The third tip is, don’t always jump in, okay. Again, children need to learn skills for dealing with conflicts. And it’s tempting every time you hear you know trouble brewing in the other room to run in there and break it up and give them trouble and scold them for it, and that’s, that needs to become their job. They need to navigate this on their own.
So if my kids are having an argument, often it’s about what show they’re gonna watch on television, and I hear it, I give it a few minutes. I’m gonna see if they can resolve it. If they can’t, I’m gonna go into that room. It’s not helpful to holler from other rooms.
Go in and say, that’s one, you need to solve this problem. And then I just leave. So that means they know that I know that there’s trouble. I’ve given them a warning that if they can’t resolve it, I will intervene, but I’ve given them an opportunity to try again.
If the squabbling continues though, I’m gonna come in and say that’s two, time out. And the TV would go off. They would go their separate directions for an increment of time. My kids are a little older so it might be five minutes or so. If they’re little they just kinda separate for a minute or two, and then they can reconvene.
It’s great if you can distract them before conflict arises, but you can’t always be watching every little move they make. And I got to the point where my children, when I said that’s one, they would become pretty good, not every time, but they became pretty good at trying to negotiate a strategy that they would both be happy with.
A last little bonus tip that I wanna give you is that in our house, talking meanly, telling people to shut up or that they were stupid or I hate you, are things that are simply not allowed. There’s a zero tolerance policy in our house for mean or negative put-downs. I don’t do it to my husband, we don’t do it to the kids, they’re not allowed to do it to each other. And if you do that right from when they’re young age, they know that that kind of language is not acceptable or appropriate.
Then again that encourages them to find other ways to express their anger. You can say I’m angry with you right now, but you can’t say you’re stupid or you’re dumb or anything that’s a negative insult to the other person. And we would time them out. If you said you hated someone, automatic time out.
Okay so have a no negative put-down rule in your house and make sure that you consequence it when it happens, and then you really see your kids grow up to be respectful of family members. That doesn’t mean you always have to get along, but it means you have to be respectful.
I hope that helps. Thanks for watching today. Sleep well.
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