From referee to memory maker, moms can’t control sibling relationships, but they can shape them. For many households summer is the season with the most “together time.” This can create tension and opportunity for connection. We’ll look at how to use your influence to minimize sibling conflict and increase bonding during the long days together.
Watch the video for the full discussion …
Here are a few tips from our webinar:
Plan for Success
Buddy Time – Divide the kids up and have them spend quality time with one other sibling for 20 minutes to an hour.
Alone Time – Adopt the FOB (Flat On Bed) concept from camp. Everyone needs quiet time. Have it every day.
Creative Activities – When kids are busy doing something that is drawing out their creative side, they feel proud of their work and are more likely to be uplifting to their siblings around them.
Pick a Summer Scripture – Decide on a verse that will be a guide for your summer together, possibly how you will treat each other.
Proactively Celebrate Each Other – Every child needs to be celebrated for different reasons. Whether birthdays or small accomplishments, help siblings celebrate what makes each person
What parents can do (Tips from Amy McCready – Positive Parenting Solutions):
Avoid Labels – This is the “athletic one” the “smart one” the “helpful one” – when one is labeled as something, the others feel they are the opposite, even though we aren’t saying it. Can cause jealousy and problems.
Don’t Over-Identify With the Wounded Child. This can reinforce the idea that being a victim is a good thing and gets attention. And the aggressor may start to feel like he/she is always the aggressor and that may cause bullying tendencies (reinforced). Empathy is great – but don’t overdue it.
Stay out of the fight if you can. The tattle tale department is closed! Having siblings work out their own disagreements teaches them an important life skill. If we do need to intervene, be the mediator. Hear both sides of the story – “I feel hurt b/c….” “I feel angry b/c…” and then talk about ideas to solve the problems.
Mediation Tactics: When mom does need to mediate
Use a timer for taking turns. It removes you from being the middle person. This can be done proactively, to prevent conflicts in the first place. It can also be used once a battle over a particular toy or device or game begins.
Separate In the heat of the moment sometimes everyone just needs to cool down. Send kids to different rooms or parts of the room until they are committed to playing without arguing. Separation makes the heart grow fonder after all.
Ask for Forgiveness: Teaching kids how to apologize and accept an apology is key to being healthy, productive adults. Model this well by extending forgiveness when kids make mistakes and asking for their forgiveness when the summer madness gets to you.