I’ve really fallen down on Sibling Saturday posts.
True, my kids fight less than many siblings and most of the time they play together nicely…but it has been a struggle lately. I’m noticing a lot of bickering and frustration between the kids.
I have one child who is bossy, one who tends toward crabbiness, one learning the ‘joys’ of annoying siblings on purpose, one used to getting her own way, and one who destroys and swipes toys.
Sometimes it seems hopeless, this goal of sibling friendship and respectful behavior towards one another.
I’ve gotten lazy about helping the kids find respectful ways to work through problems. I’m resorting too often to changing activities or separating them. While those are great strategies when they are overwhelmed with togetherness or when I absolutely cannot stop to help (like in the middle of cooking dinner or changing a diaper) it does nothing toward changing their future behavior. I find myself tired and frustrated and then I just scold them. Bringing attention to poor behavior or attitude is necessary, but scolding without parental guidance is not effective at all.
So, this is my deep breath. I will adjust my own attitude first. I will remember that good parenting requires providing my children with strategies to work through their differences. I will state my expectations (and repeat them a million times) in the correct tone of voice. I will guide them through resolving their own issues rather than taking the easy road of solving the problem for them.
Hopefully, the result will be more peaceful relationships at home and more Sibling Saturday posts here on the blog!