My general concerns about siblings

Forums Quarterly Parent Focus Sibling Relations My general concerns about siblings

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  • #5330
    Avatarjen
    Participant
    Hi Karen!
    So glad to kick off the Sibling Quarterly Focus this week. Here’s what I had in mind when I jumped at the chance to recommend this topic.
    Lots of stuff is going well:
    • Each girl knows that I love her uniquely, as her own individual self
    • They (mostly) handle it well when her sister gets something more/different than she does
    • Sharing toys is relatively smooth because I taught them to ask “when can I have a turn” and expecting that the toy-holder has to give her sister a turn in 5 minutes or less. (Soon I’m planning to expand this to event-based timing, like “you can have it after we come back from school but I’m going to keep it for the rest of this morning.”)
    My main frustration is the constant low-level daily fighting between them:
    • Conversations with me are plagued with interrupting or stage-hogging; car rides are mentally exhausting for me because when I’m not mediating these infractions, they each pull on me to discuss THEIR thing and I don’t know how to steer them toward more normal group dynamics
    • Pushing, snatching, hitting to get something that should have been done with words
    • Name-calling and property destruction to express frustration with one another
    Where I feel lost:
    • I desperately want positive one-on-one time with each of them but I’m finding it hard to fit in, and hard to get a kid to cooperate, and NOT get my attention when it’s clear I’m dishing it out. “Your turn will come” isn’t reward enough; she wants me to promise something “better” than what her sister got (I never promise that) and when I switch girls, the first one is miffed that I left. The whole dance is full of so much unpleasantness it’s hard to turn the tide.
    • Busy schedules mean we get so little time together. Therefore I try and emphasize being peaceable above all. Unkind words and physical force are never needed. And when we slip up, lose our cool, we apologize and make it right. But I wonder if it’s sinking in! Every time I see them escalating, I intervene and they’re both so tense that it feels like nobody’s listening.
    • When we do things together, little Lily “ruins” things for Ruby because she’s only 4 and a half. She has a ton more energy than Ruby and I, a shorter attention span, and Ruby feels cheated out of experiences she wants with us. Things like family worship time, listening to Mommy read, listening for birds together, Ruby’s two years older and at 6 and a half she exhibits *some* patience but I never know when I’m letting Lily get in her way versus supporting Lily’s individuality.
    #5334
    Karen Lock KolpKaren Lock Kolp
    Keymaster

    On it Jen!

    I love:
    – How specific this “general” list is. It’s giving me lots of great entry points into helping you with the sibling struggle!
    – That you start with what’s going well. That means you’re starting from a place of strength, and it ups your chances of success.
    – That were finally at this quarter, where we can really dig in and help you find some solutions!

    Of the struggles, is there anyone that you need the most immediate help with? Or do you want me to choose where to start?

    I am excited to dig in!

    Host of the We Turned Out Okay podcast
    Author of Positive Discipline Ninja Tactics: Key Tools to Handle Every Temper Tantrum, Keep Your Cool, and Enjoy Life With Your Young Child
    Head Honcho of the Ninja Parenting Community

    #5335
    Avatarjen
    Participant

    I’d like to start with upping the one-on-one time. I’m convinced that is a fundamental component that will make it easier to address EVERYthing else.

    #5336
    Karen Lock KolpKaren Lock Kolp
    Keymaster

    Okay : )

    I will get going!

    Host of the We Turned Out Okay podcast
    Author of Positive Discipline Ninja Tactics: Key Tools to Handle Every Temper Tantrum, Keep Your Cool, and Enjoy Life With Your Young Child
    Head Honcho of the Ninja Parenting Community

    #5337
    Avatarjen
    Participant

    Just for a flavor of how things typically go for us… This morning I was getting into the shower and I heard lots of “no stop it!”  And other such yelling and door slamming and loudness and craziness. I yelled at everybody and made them come into the bathroom and sit on the floor while I showered. Even then there was crying and encroaching on each other‘s space and staring at each other and objecting to the staring and Just general bickering that drove me up the wall. I did not handle it well. I threw my own temper tantrum. I banged on the shower door to get through their unceasing noise and told them to be peaceable. Ha ha. Sigh.

    #5350
    Karen Lock KolpKaren Lock Kolp
    Keymaster

    Oh, hugs Jen!! We all have days like that. Tomorrow will be better. If you can forgive yourself and your girls, that is going to be best. Better times ahead 💕

    Host of the We Turned Out Okay podcast
    Author of Positive Discipline Ninja Tactics: Key Tools to Handle Every Temper Tantrum, Keep Your Cool, and Enjoy Life With Your Young Child
    Head Honcho of the Ninja Parenting Community

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