Two for the Price of One: Raising Siblings
Wrangling one child can be tough, now add one or more into the mix and you have at least double the hardships. As beautiful as having kids can be, it certainly comes with its trials and tribulations. To help make your parenting journey a little bit easier, this week we’re going to focus on the best way to parent siblings. #BEST
When parenting more than one child, fights and disagreements are bound to occur. The key to keeping these fights from causing lasting damage is to know how to approach the situation and deal with it in a calm and mature manner.
Every child is different so when it comes to parenting siblings, it is important to realize that and approach the situation in a way that is effective for everybody involved. When diffusing a situation, take time with each child individually and give each child the same amount of time and attention.
When you treat each child equally, you eliminate any feelings of jealousy toward one another. This makes it so much easier when it comes time for them to forgive each other and go about their day.
When a situation between your children arises, the first and foremost important thing you need to do is take a step back and make sure you are walking into the situation calm, cool and collected. If you go into the situation with a raised voice and you’re freaking out, then it’s likely that your children will escalate the situation even further.
Once you’re calm, take each child aside and let them tell you their side of the story. Once they both tell you what happened, have them use the following sentences:
When you.. (do this or that)…
You make me feel (this way)…
I wish you would (do this or do not do this)…..
Encouraging them to use these sentences helps each child practice empathy for the other. It shows them that their feelings aren’t the only ones that matter.
Rather than giving them a solution to the problem outright, encourage them to work together on their problem solving skills to come up with a solution that will benefit everybody involved. The only time you should put your cut in is if they can’t seem to handle a situation on their own.
Teaching them how to forgive one another is also important for building that sibling bond. You need to help them recognize that you won’t be on this planet forever, so when you’re gone they’re going to need to lean on each other for support.
While you may think that your children are too young for heavy conversations like that, it’s never too early to talk about mature topics. The key is to find a way to talk about it in a way that is age appropriate for your children.
Making sure your children have a good relationship with each other is important, but it’s okay for them to not want to be around each other every second of the day. Like any kind of healthy relationship, having a little bit of space every now and then is good.
One way you can have them take a break from one another is to do a personal outing with each of them individually where it is only you and one of your children. It doesn’t have to be major, it can be something as small as going to the park, the library or even a movie.
These personal outings will not only allow them to miss their sibling(s), but it will also allow both you and your child to spend some quality time together.
Sibling rivalry/jealousy is especially prominent when a new baby is brought into the picture. When a child gains a sibling, they are required to go through a massive change, especially if this is their first sibling. Attention is now divided between them and this new baby and that can be hard for them to understand especially if they are at a young age.
Children need to feel special too. It can be difficult juggling more than one kid, but as long as you take some time at least once a week to make each child feel appreciated and loved, you are doing just fine. JUST FINE, I TELL YA!