Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Quibbling Siblings

Our house has become a war zone.  I mean an all-out, in the desert, getting sniped at war zone.  Scott and I are going insane. 

Not only do the kids fight with each other but it seems like a constant battle between the older two and Scott and I, as well.  Everything becomes a challenge of authority and it is so exhausting.

Not long ago I ordered two books Have a New Kid by Friday by Dr. Keving Leman and Love and Logic by Jim Fay and David Funk.  While both of these books had good tips, I felt that in many of the cases the examples were just not feasible. 

For example, one of the books (can't remember which one) told the story about how everytime the family got into the car together the kids started fighting.  Finally, one day the dad pulled over and kicked the kids out of the car and made them walk the last mile home.  Of course, he said that he drove slow enough to keep an eye on them but there is no way I could or would kick out a 3 and 7 year old and have them walk home, not even once we got into our neighborhood.  Another example was when it was really cold outside and the kid was throwing a fit and did not want to wear a winter coat.  The parents gave the child the choice not to wear it and believed that he learned a valuable lesson because he was cold the rest of the day.  Once again, not really anything that I can put into practice for a 1, 3 and 7 year old.

Both Kanin and Gracie are great with Caleb.  They both get a little rough at times with their play but, overall, they are both very good at sharing, watching out, and helping their baby brother.  The problem comes when they look, talk, sit by, stand by, pass in the hall, etc each other.  This fighting will start literally the moment they wake up and not end until bed time.  If they speak nicely or kindly to each other for a combined total of 30 minutes a day then that was a good day.

I asked my Facebook friends for advice and not the "all kids do it, they'll grow out of it" kind.  I am going to try to list some hints that I have found online and through some friends (and put them to use).  Here are some things that I found:

   1. Hold both kids responsible.  When arguing starts, both get in trouble.  They used the example of going to bed half-hour early.
   2. Set up a "bickering table".  When your kids argue during the day, make your kids sit at the "bickering table" that night for 30 minutes and bicker.  They must sit there for 30 minutes.  If they do not argue during the day then they do not have to sit at the "bickering table" for that night.
  3. Stop refereeing the kids' fights unless there is a bullying situation.  Tell them to work it out or give them the consequences.
From Facebook friends:
  1. Make the children arguing give each other legitimate compliments.
  2. Keep them apart from each other for 30 minutes.  Set a timer.  One has to sit in their room for that time, then switch.
  1. Parents should take measures to help their kids compromise with each other and get along after fights.
  2. Praise your child when you see they are doing something right.  Note to self:  Do this more often.

If you have any other ideas, websites, books, sources, etc., please share!

1 comment:

  1. My brother and I are only 15 months apart. We fought ALL the time. Like mentioned in your book earlier, my mom made us get out of the car and walk home. He threw buckheads at my head the entire time, but we never fought in the car again. One thing that always seemed to work was to make us hug for a certain amount of minutes until my mom thought we were sorry. We hated hugging each other so much, that we rarely fought loud enough for my mom to hear us after that. Something that also worked was that we had to do chores when we argued for "disturbing the household." Good luck. Good news is that it will get easier and they will probably be really close come high school.