The Baffled Parent's Guide to Sibling Rivalry
The Essential Guide for Baffled Parents Who Are Constantly Playing Referee To Their Children's Battles.
Sibling rivalry has always been a part of family life. Parents well versed in "He's looking at me!" and "That's mine!" know the struggles that erupt when siblings are forced to share toys, space, and attention. But there are ways to navigate the minefield that having more than one child inevitably creates. The Baffled Parent's Guide to Sibling Rivalry provides quick, concise, nuts-and-bolts, advice on how to keep relative peace in the family.
Organized for easy access by the topics that provoke the most sibling arguments, from sharing rooms and possessions to issues of blended families, these quick, effective solutions will help parents decide how and when to intervene - and when not to.
p. 44 - The Baffled Parent's Guide to Sibling Rivalry
If you are planning a party to celebrate a child's birthday, include the sibling in the planning. Some parents fear that asking the brother or sister to help with a sib's party will be like rubbing salt in the wound. Quite the contrary. It's a way of giving attention to the "unbirthday" child, as well as making him feel included at a time when he's apt to feel left out. Of course, you need to make sure that the birthday child understand she's in charge of her own celebration. It's always a tough balancing act with siblings!
Here are some other ways to keep that balance:
* Remind the sibling that his day - and party - will come. Bring out photos of previous celebrations and remind him of the fun he had.
* If the birthday child is too young to help with invitations (for example, a first birthday), the older one can decorate them or put stamps on the envelopes. If there is a significant age gap between the siblings, the older one can take a more active role. The sib can help the birthday child complie the list of friends to be invited, help to decorate the room or table, or assist in preparing the food or decorating the birthday cake.
* Permit the sibling to invite a friend to the party.
* Assign the sibling a job during the party. For example, he can assist with one of the activites or distribute the food.
p. 56 - The Baffled Parent's Guide to Sibling Rivalry
The Parent's Role in Sibling Fights
Walk away. That's the rule of thumb when it comes to how parents should deal with their kids fighting. It's easy to get caught up in the squabbles and to serve as judge, jury, and executioner. But that role is self-defeating. Since many of these fights are a bid to gain parental attention, assuming the role of mediator between the children is counterproductive. Furthermore, if you intervene, you may be obliged to assign blame, which only fuels the kids' arguments of "You like her best" or "You treat him better" or "You never take my side" or the perennial favorite "You're not fair." Instead, parents can play an active role in teaching their children how to resolve their own conflicts.