Surly Siblings

Ahhh, the joys of parenthood! You sit back smiling and watch your beautiful children playing together, but the smile suddenly disappears when the playing turns to shouting or pushing. "She started it!" "He took my toy!" It doesn't matter where you are from or how you plan to raise your children, the fact of the matter is that when there are two or more children in the house, sibling rivalry is sure to raise its surly head! We experience it at our house, and I have seen it in my music class, such as when two children don't want to share mom's lap for a rocking song. Parent's may feel frustrated when trying to intervene, because they don't want to appear to be "taking sides". What do we do? Here are a few pointers I picked up recently from the James Dobson book, The New Strong-Willed Child.

* Don't inflame the natural jealousy that your children feel by comparing them to each other.

* Establish a workable system of justice at home. In other words, you should have reasonable rules that protect each family member an ensure their fair treatment, then consistently enforce those rules.

* Recognize that the hidden "target" of sibling rivalry is you! The bickering may be an attempt to capture more attention.

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