Overview of handling the tough sibling battles

Forums Quarterly Parent Focus Sibling Relations Overview of handling the tough sibling battles

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  • #5379
    Karen Lock KolpKaren Lock Kolp
    Keymaster

    Welcome to our Quarterly Parent Focus on Siblings Relations!
    Honestly, it could be called Child Relations… Because a lot of what we will talk about this quarter also can be used for friends, relatives, anytime when kids need to relate to other kids.

    The first 36 minutes of this video relate directly to Sibling Relations, and outline a way of handling the tough battles that children can get into.

    I hope it’s helpful, whether for siblings, friends, or extended family!

    We kicked off our Siblings Relations Quarterly Focus with a GREAT question: how do we handle the big, toughest sibling problems? For example, when an older sister tries to control her younger sister?

    Click here for the PDF notes on “Dealing with Big Issues” including:
    – 4 questions to ask yourself at the beginning of sibling bickering
    – A meeting plan to help when the kids cannot resolve it themselves
    Also please note: this is an overview of this process. We will take deeper into each part, so know that more is to come on how to solve big sibling problems : )

    Then (in this live, members-only call from April 2019) we had questions about tantruming in public, and when to intervene when your child is talking to grown-ups at the park.

    Click here for the PDF notes on what to do with public tantrums.
    Click here for the PDF notes on talking with other grown-ups at the park.

    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

    #5393
    Avatarjen
    Participant

    Yay, thanks for these PDF’s!! I love the “Big Issues” resolution process when you described it in the members-only call and I was so glad when you said you’d be following up with these write-ups.

    I’ve been thinking on how to phrase some principles like the one you used in the example: “We respect what others need or want.”

    • We don’t have to react every time to every thing that happens
    • We don’t annoy people on purpose
    • Use words, not hands, to tell people what you don’t like

    Your advice to find solutions in a meeting is something I almost objected to. It will take so much time to have a meeting about everything! But it’s not about everything. It’s about the serious things they can’t solve themselves. Eventually they’ll grow the ability to hold these meetings without me. I recognized it as something I see in adult life regularly, we just call them “difficult conversations” and we sometimes pay trainers and coaches to show us how to navigate them successfully.

    The other day Ruby said “I think your car has a disease. It’s the fighting disease. Every time we get in your car, we fight!” BING! Yes, kiddo, and we need to do something about that don’t we?!? While we drove I chatted with her about different ways she could “fight the fighting disease” and then when we added Lily to the car about 20 minutes later, Ruby was a social genius. She ignored annoyances, complained in a productive way, used humor to deflect her sister’s jabs — she was AMAZING.

    So now I’m all in! Gonna call one of those meetings as soon as there’s a fresh injury to discuss, which won’t take long I’m sure. I’ll let you know how it goes!

    It sure seems like there’s a big gap between ignorable everyday bickering and the hurtful behavior that needs a meeting to address it. We’ll probably cover that ground as we progress through the quarter, right?

    #5397
    Karen Lock KolpKaren Lock Kolp
    Keymaster

    The fighting disease, I LOVE it! Go Ruby!!

    I’m so glad she was able to understand this and utilize it!

    Can’t wait to hear how the next meeting goes. I love your principles, and I can SO see you, in a meeting situation like this, letting the kids talk first and then injecting your “principle,” into the meeting.

    I do think that you’ll find these meetings easier as you go along, and that you will see the girls holding them themselves.

    Eventually they become not so much a big deal. Case in point, my 18-year-old is learning to be an adult, and yesterday he had a day where he was:
    1) late for a haircut
    2) made me a minute late for my therapy appointment
    3) late for work, first time ever (in 2 years)

    At this point he’s basically a college student, and I needed to treat this differently than I might if he was a younger adolescent. I couldn’t ground him, or stop his girlfriend from coming over, or anything like that because in our relationship that would be incredibly intrusive and punitive.

    So the solution was literally a 2-minute meeting. I helped him understand the “human” cost of his actions, acknowledged that some days are like that, and asked him to be serious about making sure it doesn’t happen again.
    And he apologized, sincerely, and told he would do his best. I believed him : )

    Eventually these meetings become a low-key way to resolve conflicts.

    Good for you to get going on them early!

    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

    #5398
    Karen Lock KolpKaren Lock Kolp
    Keymaster

    Regarding the “big gap between the ignorable every day bickering and the hurtful behavior that needs a meeting,” can you elaborate a little bit?

    I want to address that gap, and I think I can best do it if I really understand what your challenges are with it: )

    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

    #5400
    Avatarjen
    Participant

    If the bickering fizzles when I ignore it, great, all done.

    If it quickly escalates to hurtful behavior, we meet together when everyone calms down and address it.

    Side question: can I somehow equip everyone with an extra layer of patience when I know it’ll be a difficult time, like the “witching hour” or when someone’s a little under the weather? My efforts to encourage them to show each other empathy in more-than-the-usual amounts have been rejected very loudly: “I’M NOT TIRED!” or “Nooooo, she really IS touching my stuff, it’s not just because I’m sick!”

    But I guess the gap is… in normal circumstances, how can I nip it in the bud? What might it look like WHILE it’s escalating so I can intervene before someone does something regretful? While still avoiding too much intervention? Maybe the secret lies in finding the right Magic Words, or on an even higher plane, identifying and managing it as a healthy tension. And probably some mixture that you’ll be able to articulate better than I can.

    #5409
    Karen Lock KolpKaren Lock Kolp
    Keymaster

    In this video I share about how to address a gap that our community member Jen recently identified: the one between “normal bickering, I can ignore this” and “okay, this is dangerous and must be addressed with a family meeting immediately.”

    So, I have good news, and bad news:
    The bad news is, there isn’t a formula or a set series of steps and utilize to address this gap.

    And… That’s kind of also the good news.

    Because the flip side of not having a formula or series of steps is that we don’t have to worry about deploying it correctly, or memorizing the steps.

    This is about intuition, and trusting ourselves to step in when necessary.
    It means we can really only focus on the issue in front of us, and making the decision for THIS moment about holding back or intervening when two kids (or more) are fighting.

    Please holler in the replies below with questions or comments : )

    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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