Monday, August 27, 2012

Sibling Rivalry

It can be stressful for parents when young siblings fight.  I have a three year old daughter, an almost five year old daughter and a three month old daughter.  My three year old and my four year old are really close.  They do almost everything together and they are best friends.  They get along most of the time, but sometimes they do fight.

Some of the fights they have are minor, but they can get a little intense at times.  When one has something the other one wants, especially a toy, it can be overwhelming.  Even if my husband and I buy each of them the exact same thing they still find something to fight about.  Boy is that frustrating! 

So what do you do when your young siblings fight? In my opinion, the best thing to do is separate them for a little while to give them time to calm down.  Sometimes when my three year old is tired she gets impossible to deal with.  She does not really nap anymore, but when she starts to cry for no reason I know a nap is the best thing.  If they start to fight over a toy or something, we usually take it away and redirect them to another activity and let them know that they can't have it unless they share.  I notice they get along very well when they're playing on the computer, so when they fight and don't know what to do with themselves I let them play games together on the computer. 

It's important for parents with young children to remember they have to be role models.  If parents have a conflict with each other they should try and settle it calmly and be respectful of each other.  If children see their parents yelling and slamming doors they will think that behaviour is acceptable.

I think quality family time is important.  We do a lot of things together as a family, especially on the weekend.  We've gone to Canada's Wonderland a lot this summer and last summer.  We all have season passes and it's great!  When we can't find something to do we pack some things, hop in the minivan and head to Wonderland.  Sometimes we take them to the movies and if we don't feel like going out we watch movies together at home.  Sometimes children fight for parents' attention so doing things as a family often can help lessen the conflict.

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