Sibling Rivalry – Always at the worst time

Sibling Rivalry – Always at the worst time

Oct 30

Ever notice that when you are the most stressed to get something done the kids are also the most active to get your attention.

It’s 6:00 in the evening and you have just rushed in the door. You’re flying to get dinner on the table while the kids are sitting in the family room watching something on Television.

Then out of nowhere comes a blood curdling scream from your youngest child. The older child has poked him, is sitting too close to him, gotten the remote away from him and is changing the channels or anything else he can do to upset his younger sibling.

Why you ask? Why when you are so busy trying to get dinner prepared would these children once again start bothering each other?

Because they are bored! And when the oldest child is bored the best toy he has is his younger sibling. Whether it’s in the back seat of the car or sitting in the family room, annoying his younger sibling is a great way to pass the time.

That’s why we park their minds in front of televisions in the house or DVD players in the car. It distracts them, but it doesn’t teach them (that’s for another blog).

The dream of every parent is that the child would do more than simply get along. We dream they would love each other and take care of each other. We imagine them going through life holding hands.

Building family takes work. You have to deal with the acts of sibling rivalry and then work to create sibling love.

Next: Dealing with sibling rivalry in a way that doesn’t pit them against each other.


Sibling rivalry – Why?

Sibling rivalry – Why?

Oct 29

We just want to be one big happy family. When we had our second child we saw a new side to our first child. This was a side we couldn’t have imagined when he was our only child. I know it is called “sibling rivalry”, but why?

Imagine being married for three years and out of nowhere your husband brings home another wife. “Honey, I love you so much I thought two wives would be even better!”

That wouldn’t work for you. Expanding the family by taking the starring role away from the oldest child takes some effort on the part of the parents.

Sibling rivalry, the sense of competition between siblings is a reality. It’s also not a bad thing and it does need to be dealt with. Sibling rivalry takes the center stage of life out of the hands of the oldest or older children. Sibling rivalry is a battle for power, position or for the parent’s attention.

Having siblings does teach children to work together and how to share. Children must be taught to handle their sense of sibling rivalry or a family could end up like the Biblical character Jacob. Jacob’s sons were so jealous of Joseph that they sold him into slavery, just to get rid of him.

There is an opportunity in the tension that sharing siblings must learn to deal with. It’s great practice for marriage.

Tomorrow: When is sibling rivalry most likely to take place?


The ICE Plan for talking back

The ICE Plan for talking back

Oct 27

As previously stated, you have a challenge with you eight year old talking back.  The first step is the parental staff meeting.  A meeting of the parents or parent to think through this behavior.

First: Is this a behavior we need to deal with: Yes.

Second: What is a corrective consequence for this behavior?

In our staff meeting we decided that we would respond to talking back by having the child sit at the kitchen table and write a fifty word note of apology.

First step in the I.C.E. plan is the “I” for Instruction.

“Torrey, mom and I have noticed that you have a tendency to talk back to us when you don’t like the decisions we are making.  Last night when we said that you needed to pick up those things on the floor and then it’s time to go get you shower, you responded by …” Help the child understand what talking back is.

From now on we’re going to help you not talk back.  If you start talking back one of us is going to give you a warning by holding up a finger.  If you stop, awesome!  If you don’t there will be a consequence.

Second step is the “C” for consequence…announcing the consequence.  “If you continue to talk back, even after the warning, you will end up sitting at the kitchen table writing a fifty word note of apology.”

Count on it.  Your child is awesome.  They will continue to talk back.  My daughter spends a couple hours sitting at the kitchen table one night with paper and pencil in front of her.  I sat at the table with a newspaper to make sure she didn’t leave the room.

Finally, out of boredom, she chose to write the note.  The note can be done in five minutes or in two hours.  We are placing that decision to accept responsibility for their behavior on their shoulders.

Eventually the minutes spent choosing to write the note got to be less and less… as did the talking back.

That’s the “E” in I.C.E.  Letting them exercise their options and decision-making skills.  “If I talk back I am choosing to write.  It’s all about impulse control.

Oh, yes, there was the night my mouth got me to a point where I knew I had to sit and write a fifty word note of apology to her.  Very humbling!


Help, My Child is Talking Back

Help, My Child is Talking Back

Oct 23

Of course young children talk back. It’s unfortunate when older children still talk back to their mom, but it’s to be initially expected from younger children to talk back. Children of all ages talk back when they don’t get their way and haven’t yet been taught that there is a consequence for talking back.

No, the parent’s justification can not be “kids will be kids” or “that’s just the way today’s children are.” The reality is that kids will become what they are trained to become.

It’s one of the training responsibilities of parents to help children break the habit of talking back.

This habit will stop when it is consistently coupled with an unpleasant consequence.  If, for instance, every time a child talks back, the parent has the child sit at the kitchen table and write a fifty word note of apology to the parent. Sound unrealistic?

Let’s spend the next couple of days looking at the subject.


Do your homework for Slumber parties

Do your homework for Slumber parties

Oct 22

The simple fact that your child has been invited to a slumber party has no barring what-so-ever on whether your child will go to that slumber party.

Do your homework. Who are the parents? Do you know them? You wouldn’t let a stranger use your car over night so why entrust your greatest treasure to a stranger?

What is the reason for the slumber party? What do they plan to do? Who will be there? Is it going to be all one gender?

Make no assumptions. Ask your questions before saying yes so you don’t kick yourself later on.

A growing number of parents think it’s cute to have a slumber party for everyone in their child’s first or second grade. Yes, everyone … boys and girls.

It just takes one precocious child to pressure everyone into showing body parts.

Ask all your questions before hand so you can say to yourself, “I’m glad I did,” rather than “I wish I had.”