"There are no argumentative children; only adults who argue with children."

Sibling Must Work it Out!

Question

I have two children: An 8-year-old girl and a 3-year-old boy. For the most part, they play really well on their own. Whenever my daughter doesn’t have school, however, we have conflict. My son loves playing with his sister, and it's been good for him: It's taught him to play the way she does (imaginary, using figurines to talk to each other, etc). However, when she decides she is done playing with him, he will whine and fuss in frustration. She does get alone time during the day. Do I structure out more time for them to play separately?

Answer

Hello, mom. Thanks for your question. Let me tell you, you are not alone in your doubt!

Sibling conflicts are inevitable. Taking yourself out of the equation and putting responsibility for solving the sibling conflict problem on the children’s shoulders is what is going to make conflicts vanish away. That’s not going to happen if you keep organizing their playtime together.

Here is my piece of advice. Put a “Do Not Disturb The Family Peace” rule hanging on your refrigerator, which includes: 1) Keep your conflicts to yourselves. Do not disturb anyone else with it; 2) Do not complain to Mom or Dad about one another; 3) Make no attempt to physically hurt one another.

The rules can be displayed with magazine pictures or drawings, as you will. Add three tickets beside the display. Every time they break one of the rules you simply inform which rule was broken and that they lost one ticket for that. No second chances. Within a day if all the tickets are gone, each one of them goes to their bedrooms for the remainder of the day. But remember, the room must be as less attractive and fun as possible. All the steps above must be informed to the kids beforehand.

The “Do Not Disturb The Family Peace” rule was extracted from “The Well-Behaved Child, Discipline That Really Works!” By John Rosemond. I highly recommend that reading for you. Hang in there!

Denise Rohrer
Certified Leadership Parenting Coach

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