Are your kids fighting?
5 Tools to AVOID That
By Jailan Heidar
Now that most of us have been in lockdown for at least a month, tensions are starting to arise between siblings.
Kids are fighting more for mom and dad’s attention, arguing and teasing each other and just not getting along. Do you feel it’s the same in your home with your kids?
I want to tell you that there are tools to help you and your kids through this!
I want to make sure you kid the important tools you need that can support you through this time if your kiddos have started squabbling.
Here you go!
1. Spending special time with your child
Most unwanted behavior is a means to get attention, especially among siblings. Schedule daily alone time with your child even if it’s 15 minutes. Make sure you name it “special time with mommy and your child”. Let your child pick the activity you’ll be doing together. Remember to keep this time uninterrupted by other chores, cell-phones or people. You can still give individual attention to each child when you are with both of them. Remember to individualize comments and conversations with each child and do not group them together.
2. Get your kids to work together not against each other
To motivate kids, we sometimes fall into the mistake of comparing them to each other. “look how your sister is feeding herself” or “who is going to brush their teeth first?”. This can create unhealthy competition and resentment between siblings. Instead, motivate them by encouraging them to be a team against you or the clock. “Help each other clean up before the 2 minutes are up!”.
3. Let your kids speak for themselves
A lot of times we tend to speak for our kids, especially when there’s a much younger sibling or a shy child involved. This is completely well-intentioned by parents of course but it can seem to the child that you are taking sides. Instead, try to encourage your child to speak for him or herself to the brother or sister. You might need to assist a younger child but this is the first step in helping your kids speak to each other instead of having them come to you all the time.
4. Put your kids in the same boat
Every child is different, you may have a more active child and a calmer child. A child who follows rules and one who doesn’t. With time, compliments to the “good” child may cause feelings of resentment from the child who is struggling. The “good” child may also start looking down on the other sibling who has challenges. You don’t want either of those feelings because they encourage hostile feelings between siblings. Instead, group kids in the same boat with expected behavior “both of you clean your room so you can both go out in the garden” or “No screaming” instead of singling one child out who is screaming.
5. Show faith in your kids!
I can not emphasize how important this is. Kids do better when they feel better and when you believe in them. Let your kids know you believe they can be nice together, that they can work out a solution or that they can avoid teasing each other. Try, “I know the two of you love each other and can talk without screaming”.
Finally, conflict is part of life. It is unrealistic to expect to avoid conflict. As you minimize situations of unnecessary conflict with the above tools, you’ll have more breathing space and patience to use conflict situations as an opportunity to conflict resolution. How can your child ask nicely for a toy? ideas for turn-taking? problem-solving steps? there are a lot of oppr=ortunites for learning skills your children will need with their friends after this lockdown ends!
I want you to know you’ve got this!
Which tool will you be starting with? I love hearing from you! Just click here to let me know.
Sending you lots of virtual hugs!
PS. If you feel you need more in-depth support just click here and let me know what’s on your mind.
PSS. If you are struggling with dealing with the stress of parenting during the lockdown. I’d like to invite you to join Moms Together, a free virtual support group meeting every Tuesday at 8 PM. You can get the call link here.