I have 3 girls ages 6,4,& the baby 11months. My 2 older children the 6 & 4 year old argue over everything. It makes me sad because I just want them to get along and be close. Any ideas on how to get them to get along?or what I can do to inspire them to want to get along?
My children argue all the time!!
Mine are often at odds too, it drives me completely nutty. They're definitely worse when I'm tired or cranky and have little patience with them, and they're better when I (or Grandma or uncle, etc) have been able to spend quality one-on-one time with each of them recently. I'll be watching to see what others have to say!
editing to say that I've heard "Siblings Without Rivalry" is a good book, I haven't checked it out yet but I probably should sooner than later.
I really disliked the advice in Siblings without Rivalry. I read it when the twins were probably 6 (they're 10 now), but some of the advice was to let your children say they hate each other. That's not OK with me. Much of the other advice was to stay out of their fights. I agree with that in principal, but when kids are little, it's important to explain to them how to handle disagreements. I'm sure there's good stuff in the book, but the advice I disagree with sticks with me because it seemed so fundamental to the book's philosophy. Anyway.. just my 2 cents.
Some things we've done with our twins boys and dd, who is 3 1/2 years younger:
-- putting them in charge of each other at the same time-- and making sure the other one is happy.
-- Making them do mitzvahs (good deeds) if they hurt the other. (This worked really well when they were 4-6 or so.)
-- If they were fighting I sometimes had them literally kiss and make up. This always made my boys crack up, and dissolved the tension.
-- Giving them each a "favor" that they have to do for the other child at any time during the day.
- Having them help each other with something
-- having them teach each other something
-- Interrupting arguments and explaining the "right way" to handle something, i.e., "if Johnny is playing with a toy and you want it, ask him when he'll be finished with it so you can have a turn. We don't grab toys." "If sister isn't listening to you, you can come to me or walk away, but you can't yell at her," and on and on.
Ya I got to agree. Siblings with out rivalry's advice did not work for me either. Mine are 6 and 2. We have our good weeks and our bad weeks. Recently I have been trying to be consistent with my 6 year old with boundaries of what is just not acceptable treatment of his 2 year old brother and this has helped. He has a lot of OCD tendencies and I think he needs very clear cut boundaries. We are also slowly transitioning them to the same room which actually seems to be helping. My older son has anxiety about his stuff being touched or messed with especially when he has it a certain way so I have actually been straightening up his room and this has helped them get along. He doesn't seem to be able to keep it orderly himself because his OCD gets in the way but if I make it orderly then he likes having his younger brother around and in there. They also get along best when I want to put them to bed cause they want to stay up so I let them stay up and play a bit if they are getting along well.
I have 2 DS, ages 7 and 5. There are days when they would get and other days where they get on each other's nerves all the time! What I have noticed is that after I spent some quality time with each separately, they would go back to playing nicely again. I think with siblings, it's all about equality. I joke around with DH and say that I have twins. Maybe it's something that one child is getting and the other is not? That happens too around here...just have to be careful what we do and say.
My sister and I fought terribly growing up. There was 3 years between us. We are now best of friends. My DD is 4 and her DS is 4. We can now laugh at all the things we see in each others children that irritated us about each other growing up. I know dealing with it must be frustrating but I think the biggest thing my Mom did for us is treat us fairly and as equals. As long as you do that I think the future will take care of itself for the best!