Sibling Rivalry | Part 5


Sibling Rivalry and Personalities

There are many aspects of parenting where our children’s different personalities may have an affect.  Sibling rivalry can be one of those areas.  If you have a child who is very sensitive you may be tempted to rescue them whenever they get their feelings hurt.  This may not help them in the long run, however.  If our job is to train our child for adulthood we may need to help our sensitive child learn how to cope.  There are obviously times we need to step in when picking on each other goes too far.  When our sensitive child gets their feelings hurt we may just need to take some time to talk them through it.   Many times they are getting picked on because of their reaction.  Teaching them how to cope will help them not only in the school years but also help them to not wear their feelings on their sleeve as adults.

The other child we can take extra time with is the child who is our leader.  Our goal should be training up all of our children to be future leaders but our first-born has been naturally placed in this role.  We can start allowing them areas of leadership.  As the oldest they will have more privileges then their siblings as they grow, so their responsibilities will grow as well.  Having a sense of ownership in their leadership role will help with the sibling rivalry we just have to guide them.

Take the time to come up with a plan for the different personalities in your home.

Listen to today’s podcast for more insight on sibling rivalry.

Sibling Rivalry | Part 52012-07-23T14:05:33-04:00

Sibling Rivalry | Part 4


Don’t Just Manage Sibling Rivalry Train For Relationship

There are so many times that we get caught up in attempting to manage the fighting between our children we forget to give opportunities for relationship.  There are several areas where we can train our children to enjoy and ultimately serve each other.  This may not be something that comes naturally to our children so we need to look for opportunities to help them with it.  Make sure there are routine times for sibling fun in your house.  Game nights are great for family interaction.  Have a weekly “fun Friday” where you allow your kids to have a big slumber party in the living room with popcorn and a movie.  It is our job to create experiences to promote camaraderie in our kids.

Another area to focus on is training our kids to serve each other.  Look for areas where you can help one child serve the other.  For example, your older child has a big test to study for and it is their job to do the dishes.  Talk to your younger child and have them help you do the dishes for the older one.  Make sure the child is receiving plenty of praise from you as they help you do the dishes.   This is a great training opportunity that so often we miss.

Make sure that you take the extra time to create opportunities for fun and service.  It will go along way in helping your children’s relationship with each other.

Listen to today’s podcast for more insight on sibling rivalry.

Sibling Rivalry | Part 42012-07-23T14:05:09-04:00

Sibling Rivalry | Part 3


Using Sibling Rivalry for Training in Impulse and Attitude Control

Siblings are a great learning and practicing tool for marriage and coworkers.  Utilizing this for training in both impulse control and not allowing someone else to control our attitude is important.  We touched on how to do this yesterday.  Make sure you are consistently communicating what the other options to fighting are.  When you hear fighting from the other room you can take that moment to remind your children, as a warning for their behavior, what the right choice would be.  After the warning, if the inappropriate behavior continues then a consequence can occur.  By doing this you are reminding your children to use self-control or to control their impulses.  Immaturity would say to retaliate when someone does something to you.  Maturity would be able to look past it and deal with it appropriately.

The next thing we can utilize siblings for is to teach our children that attitude is a choice.  You can choose to let someone else’s actions control your mood or you can refocus both yourself and your mood.  Again in both of these training opportunities positive reinforcement goes along way.  This may mean more work for us as parents as we look for things to praise.  We also sometimes mean well and then get too busy to mention it when our kids make the right choice.  Take the time and effort to go crazy for good behavior; that sometimes speaks more loudly then consequences for the poor choices.


Listen to today’s podcast for more insight on sibling rivalry.

Sibling Rivalry | Part 32012-07-23T14:04:48-04:00

Sibling Rivalry | Part 2


Using Sibling Rivalry as a Training Tool

It is so easy to get irritated and frustrated when our children don’t get along. Constant fighting between siblings can be exhausting for parents. However, sibling rivalry is a great teaching tool for our children to learn many life lessons.  One lesson is how to handle it appropriately when someone irritates you.   Another lesson is conflict management.  The lesson that life is not always fair can also be taught through siblings.  Keep focused on the importance of these lessons and come up with a plan for utilizing sibling rivalry for training.   This will help give purpose for dealing with these issues and help us as parents to not feel so frustrated.

Take time to set up parameters on where the line of inappropriate behaviors is.  Then have a family meeting to discuss this line, the consequences for stepping over the line and options for appropriately dealing with the conflict.  Giving your children options on how to appropriately deal with it when their sibling irritates them is part of the training.  They can talk to their sibling, remove themselves from the situation or refocus on something else. Another key to training is not only handing out consequences for inappropriate behavior but also rewarding the positive.  If our children make the right choice and avoid the fighting we need to make sure we are going crazy with praise.


Listen to today’s podcast for more insight on sibling rivalry.

Sibling Rivalry | Part 22012-07-23T14:04:23-04:00

Sibling Rivalry | Part 1


What Is Sibling Rivalry?

This week we will discuss a topic that anyone who has more then one child will deal with, sibling rivalry.  We need to take a step back and realize that sibling rivalry is a normal behavior.  It can be used as a signal behavior for parents.  The children may be in need of attention, they may be blowing steam from a stressful day, and the behavior can simply mean that they are tired or bored.

As a parenting team, we need to evaluate what our plan will be.  At what point are we going to get involved and what are the unacceptable behaviors?  We can look at this behavior as another training opportunity.  Our children need to be able to work some of these issues out on their own.   It is part of learning how to live in close proximity with another person.  If they do not learn at home their first experiences with this will be in the college dorm or when they get married.  There is a point where we as parents will need to step in for guidance.  We will spend the rest of this week discussing the balance of helping your children work out the issues of sibling rivalry.


Listen to today’s podcast for more insight on sibling rivalry.

Sibling Rivalry | Part 12012-07-23T14:04:07-04:00

Training Your Children How To Set Goals | Part 2


The Discipline of Goal Setting Must Be Trained

Children are not born patient, as many parents of toddlers can attest.   They want things immediately and for some if they do not receive what they want, a temper tantrum will follow.  If we as parents know that we have to train our children to be patient why is it hard to train our children to have goals?

Goal setting, just like training in most areas, is time consuming and takes effort.  Some times it is so much easier to do things for our children rather then help them set up the goal for themselves.  While it may be easier to allow them to “learn the hard way” if they procrastinate on a school project, or jump in at the last minute and rescue your child, neither is the best choice.  The best thing to do is to get involved from the beginning and help your child manage the goal of a good grade on the school report.

There is another area where we as parents may have to exhibit more self-control and allow our children to learn the lesson of patience and goal setting and that is through helping them with finances.  It is prudent to not purchase for your child everything their heart desires but allow them the lesson of saving for themselves.  We will discuss this area of goal setting in more detail tomorrow.

Listen to today’s podcast for more insight on training your children to set goals.

Training Your Children How To Set Goals | Part 22012-01-09T16:44:38-04:00

The How To’s of Listening | Part 5


Listening and The Dinner Table

Like we discussed yesterday teaching children how to listen using their siblings can be a great training ground for the future in work and peer relationships.  One place to put this into practice is the dinner table.  Creating family dinner discussion rules can help.  Such as only one person talks at a time or we finish discussing one thing before the next is brought up.  This is an area that we need to lead by example.

Another fun thing that can be done at the family dinner table is to create a listening game.  You can have each child tell the family one thing that they learned from someone else that day.  Whether it was at school, home or even each other.  This can help create an atmosphere of listening.  On Sunday’s you can have your children tell you one thing that they heard in Sunday school or small group and one thing they remember the pastor saying.  This will also begin to train them to listen in a big group setting.  If you make it into a game you may be surprised at the things that your children come away with!


Listen to today’s podcast for more insight on this topic.

The How To’s of Listening | Part 52011-08-15T10:57:24-04:00

The How To’s of Listening | Part 3


Where is Your Front Porch

Yesterday we talked about training children to listen by taking the time to hear what they have to say.    There are other places that we can listen by example as well.  A child often observes how mom and dad interact.  In fact how we live out our marriage will have a direct impact on the future marriages of our children.

One of the things that is easy for a child to observe is how their parents communicate.   Do they see communication that builds or tears down?  What do they observe when their parents disagree?  Most of all do they see their parents listening to each other?

Before the age of television families could be seen sitting on their front porches enjoying the evening after dinner.  Maybe the children were playing in the front yard while their parents sat and enjoyed each other’s company.  The important thing about this was not just the time spent as a family but the fact that children could daily watch their parents interact and communicate.  So the question for today is where is your front porch?


Listen to today’s podcast for more insight on this topic.

The How To’s of Listening | Part 32011-08-09T20:56:53-04:00

The How To’s of Listening | Part 2


 Listening By Example

There are many things that we teach our children by simply showing them how to do it.  One of the most important and sometimes difficult things about parenting is that we must always be aware there are little eyes watching everything we do.  This means our words and actions need to match up.

Practically, other then instructing your children to “listen to mommy/daddy”, how do we teach listening?  We can first be an example to our children in how to listen.  This, however,is not always as easy as it sounds.  Do we find ourselves absently answering a child’s question without really listening to what they are saying? Are there ever times that we assess a situation and make up our minds about what happened without listening to our children?  That is just in everyday situations, when a child is acting out listening can become even more difficult.  We need to remember to be intentional because our children will learn how to listen from how we listen to them.


Listen to today’s podcast for more insight on this topic.


The How To’s of Listening | Part 22011-08-15T10:56:19-04:00

The How To’s of Listening | Part 1



Many times when you think of listening it seems like a passive activity but listening is an action verb.  It is not only something that you do but it is something that you do very intentionally.  It is a choice.  Listening takes hearing a step farther.  When a person is communicating, you are not only hearing the words that are coming out of their mouth but becoming engaged in what they are saying.  It involves not just your ears but mind as well.  We need to practice something called active listening.  This means that our whole body is communicating that we are listening as well.   We are facing our children, looking them in the eyes and attempting to understand what they are saying.  It is hard to train what we do not practice.  When a child feels listened to they will tend to be more and more communicative.  The reverse is also true, if a child feels brushed off or absently dismissed it can cause them to clam up.   So as we are training our children to listen we as adults need to remember it is a choice but one that will ultimately help to make your child feel valued!


Listen to today’s podcast for more insight on this topic.

The How To’s of Listening | Part 12011-08-09T20:57:34-04:00