reduce sibling rivalry & parent/child contention
If there are behaviors that are so clearly against the family rule, it takes pressure off of the parent or sibling correcting the child. Instead of saying, “If you hit me again, I’m going to break all your toys”. “If you scream in the house again, no more screentime!” You can teach with the family rules.
For example, if the family rules is,
“Safe touches” - if you hit or push, you need to go take a break to calm down, then make it right
& you come up together with a set consequence for when the family rule is broken. Then siblings can use that rule to resolve the conflict without “tattle-telling“ or worse, taking matters into their own hands.
Pretty soon this is the dialogue: “You hit me, so now you need to take a break” or “Sorry I hit you, I need to take a break”
Enforce it the first several times, and pretty soon, they will take themselves for a break after this choice or at least go on break without a big fight.
It’s much more constructive for them to learn... this is what will happen if I hit. And this is what I should do if I lose my temper. It gives them a chance to calm down and then make it right instead of the situation escalating by the siblings trying to police each other with a matching consequence that they decide on.
What are your family rules???
If you don't have them... Sit down together and decide 3-5 family rules and consequences for breaking them. Try to make them positive, so they focus on what they SHOULD do instead of what they shouldn’t (example, “soft touches“ vs. “no hitting“)
Instead of focusing on what NOT to do, put your focus on what you want them to do. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
When you say "don't run" they hear, "RUN!" or they just speed walk and consider it listening. If instead, you say, walk please, they know exactly what you're expecting of them. Take it a step further and say, show me how you can walk slowly like a turtle.⠀
Squeals and Fighting
When Maelie first started to play with Charlie there was a lot of squealing. Charlie would bump her over. And it would end in tears and “you be nice to your sister”
Took me about one day to realize what I was doing wasn’t working. He was still “fighting” her and almost every time we all end up super frustrated. .
So, I changed my response. Instead of being the referee. I was the coach. I went in thinking — they both think they are right, how can we problem solve. Instead of deciding who was right or wrong.
I know they are young but they get along soooo well. He looks out for her & helps her. Sibling rivalry is real & being the coach instead of the referee is just one thing I talk about in my course on it.
Wouldn’t you love to be a problem solving family instead of a rattle telling family?
Check out this online course on my website. Xolaurenpace.com/classes.