It is inevitable that long breaks can cause some tension between siblings.  When we spend lots of time together it is easy to get on each other’s nerves.  As a parent, it is our responsibility to be prepared. If a parent is not prepared, the entire break may be spent in a constant state of time out.  Sometimes putting a positive spin on something that may be a potential problem and focusing on the rewards, may yield better results.

For example, focus your child not on the negative consequence of fighting, such as a time out, but on the positive reward of having a good attitude.  It is easy to make a game out of this but you as a parent must spend time watching to “catch them doing the right thing.”  It is so easy to get tunnel vision and focus our energies on the bad behaviors and not only forget to praise, but overlook the good.

So, all that said, put a poster board up with everyone’s name and put silly stickers by their names for good attitudes, kind words spoken, random acts of kindness, sharing with others, and any other positive behaviors.  At dinner each night “crown the winner.”  You can make this as fun as you want; use your families special plate, an actual crown, a prize, whatever else you can think of.  The point is to refocus your children’s behavior on doing right, then your days can be fun and silly rather then exhausting.

Remember that as parents we set the stage for what our family will focus on!