Brother and sister love can be tough to come by. One minute they’re fighting and the next they’re best friends. It can be hard for parents to keep up, let alone try to please both siblings at the same time so that peace reigns in the household. Here are four tips from a family therapist on how you can make improvements.
Raising your children is tough work. And it can be especially tough when you have more than one child. If you have more than one kid at home, then you know that keeping them all happy at the same time can be a challenge. But if you know how to handle each of their unique personalities and temperaments, you’ll find that raising siblings is actually pretty fun.
Give attention to the non-upset child.
When you’re dealing with an upset child, it’s easy to forget about the other children. But ignoring the non-upset ones can make them feel left out and jealous, which can lead to problems later on.
It’s important that you give attention to these kids as well. Give them a hug or play a game with them, it doesn’t matter what, just make sure they feel like they’re part of things. If possible, give each child something special: maybe your older daughter gets extra time playing on her phone or perhaps your younger son gets more snacks than usual. This will help keep everyone happy at once.
Offer a reward for cooperating.
One way to avoid sibling squabbles is by creating a reward system. This is a tried-and-tested method that can be used in many different situations, from getting your kids to do their homework to making sure they do the dishes after dinner.
Reward systems are especially effective for keeping little ones happy with each other and helping them build better habits.
Here’s how it works:
- Set up rewards for certain behaviors that you want your children to adopt (for example, cooperating). The reward should be something they really want, it could be an extra hour of TV or an ice cream cone on the way home from daycare. Make sure they know what they’re getting in return so there’s no confusion or disappointment when it doesn’t happen right away. Don’t forget about consequences either. Make sure everyone knows what happens if someone doesn’t cooperate by not following through with their end of the bargain (for example, no more games until everyone cleans up toys).
Give siblings space and time, and even bickering siblings can get along.
As we all know, kids frequently say they want to play with their siblings, but then when their sibling starts playing with them, they quickly lose interest and start doing something else. This is because it is difficult for most children to keep their attention focused on one thing for long periods of time. To help your kids learn the value of focused attention, give them some time alone so that they can learn how much fun it can be when you focus on a single activity without being distracted by other things (even if those distractions are other children.). Also remember that sometimes siblings get along really well; this doesn’t mean you should stop giving them individual attention altogether. Just give each child a bit more space and time alone than usual so that they can develop this important skill.