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My dds are 5.75 and turned 2 this month. They bug each other which bugs me.

What do you do in your house to encourage family understanding?
 

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Ummm, siblings bug each other. They do. My one piece of advice is never, ever, ever take sides unless one is going to do actual physical harm to the other.

If one just is poking annoyingly at the other the words to use are "hey the two of you cut that out." NOT "Hey Ellie cut that out"

The answer to "MOM she is bugging me" is "That sounds unpleasant" Not "Stop bugging your sister"
 

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read the book "mom jason's Breathing on Me" it really changed out life

I can't remember the author now..is it Anthony Wolf Maya?
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by allgirls
read the book "mom jason's Breathing on Me" it really changed out life

I can't remember the author now..is it Anthony Wolf Maya?
Yep. Another winner by Wolf.

And you are not the only person to say it changed her life. I gave the book to a good friend last year and she called me two weeks later to say that her family's life was 100 percent better becuase of the book.
 

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Hmm I'll have to check that book out.

I'd adress major issues, like constant snatching of toys by an older sibling, or anything physical. Other than that, try to be positive. Mention when you see kind acts, sharing etc.

It never goes away, I'm sorry to say. My mother and her sister still have sibling stuff going on at their ages. "It's my turn to hold the baby!" "She's my grandchild"
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The Jason's breathing on me book the one that says ignore them unless they hurt each other? That didn't sit right.

My question is not so much about how to respond when the younger one slaps the older one (which happens about every hour or so at our house), but rather, what things folks do to encourage family members to seek harmony? Are there things people conciously do to create that kind of atmosphere/energy in the home?
 

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Finding time to play with both of my kids, all of us together, has been a wonderful way for us to feel connected and have a good, peaceful time.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by maya44
Ummm, siblings bug each other. They do. My one piece of advice is never, ever, ever take sides unless one is going to do actual physical harm to the other.

If one just is poking annoyingly at the other the words to use are "hey the two of you cut that out." NOT "Hey Ellie cut that out"

The answer to "MOM she is bugging me" is "That sounds unpleasant" Not "Stop bugging your sister"
This is working wonders.
Thanks.

I've got quite the book collection going. I like Siblings without Rivalry and Easy to Love, Difficult to Discipline.
 

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My 2 are much closer in age than yours but something that has helped a bit for us is having the older one teach some grown-up things to the younger one. From the beginning dd was involved in teaching him all sorts of things...how to smile, how to laugh, how to sit up, how to crawl, how to walk. She now takes a great deal of enjoyment in watching him accomplish new things and laughs along with me when he is being funny. They still have their moments of course, always will probably, but I find it really comes and goes in stages. For me, the older they get the easier it gets.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by chfriend
The Jason's breathing on me book the one that says ignore them unless they hurt each other? That didn't sit right.

My question is not so much about how to respond when the younger one slaps the older one (which happens about every hour or so at our house), but rather, what things folks do to encourage family members to seek harmony? Are there things people conciously do to create that kind of atmosphere/energy in the home?
Yeah, I'm with you on that. Ignoring children who are dissing each other just doesntt sit right with me either, although I understand some parents say it works for them.

And while I'm an only child/mother of an only child (for right now.) I've been watching sibling dynamics with envy for years. I much prefer to see the dynamic where the older child takes a caretaker/protective or teaching type of role for the younger one. (And by that-- I don't mean with adult responsibilities.) I love to see big sisters and brothers who have learned to go out of their way to make their younger sibs happy, or to teach them songs and the alphabet. So while I don't have a lot of suggestions for you from my own personal experience, I've seen that involving the older child in your loving care for the younger child can create a nice. friendly and loving dynamic between the two. Two of my girlfriends have this going on with their kids right now. It's worlds better than watching big brothers throw their juniors off of bunkbeds and sisters screaming and tattling on each other. And the emotional pain it saves them in adulthood must make it all worth the effort.

All the same, best wishes for you "peace quest." I really hope some people start providing you with really good answers, because I'm looking forward to reading them.

Faith
 

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We are dealing with this, too . . .ever since DD became mobile things got tough.

In some cases I don't intervene, like when younger DD AND older DD seem to be teasing each other.

Most of the time, I do . . .a 3 yr age difference is too far not to, esp. as younger DD is only 15 months old.

What seems to work (sometimes) with older DD is
-discussing how hard it is to have a younger sibling
-helping IN THe MOMENT older DD teach her sis what TO do instead of what not to do
-when not in the moment, roleplaying how to ask us for help. This goes against what I've read, but frankly, it's working better than letting them be. DD doesn't feel so alone, I think . . .she knows she'll get support. We help her help herself (we try not to fix things for her but help come up with options) which I like more than the sink-or-swim method.

I know this doesn't really answer your question, but I find improving how we deal with those conflicts helps us all overall.
 

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ITA with pps on involving the siblings in learning and care together. Really they do just about everything together! From meals to baths to play to sleeping. They do spend time playing alone or individually with me cleaning up, but most of the day they are together. Most days they may have one or two disagreements and I think what is that out of almost a whole day spent together? When they were younger we spent a lot of time cuddling together. Dd cuddled up with us whenever ds nursed (I would have tandem nursed if my doc hadn't told me I had to wean dd when I was pregnant with ds, I didn't know I could
). Spending time reading books and telling stories before bed has also been a wonderful connecting time for them because its something they both love. Bedtime has mostly been a peaceful experience (we've had our rough patches here and there) and cosleeping is great. I only sleep with them about half the time now, but they share a bed still and sleep beside each other every night.

ETA You can check out the pics link in my siggy for a couple of beautiful cosleeping pics and a couple just waking up together pics
YES I'm one proud momma lol!
 

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I remember being a sibling (the youngest of 4 kids) and growing up was hard as far as getting along. We could get along sometimes but we also didn't get along sometimes. That's just a part of being a sibling. It's hard at times for me too. They usually have good days and then worse days where they argue over every little thing. As adults we also have our good and bad days you know.


I have gotten to where I let my kids just settle things between them. I get sick of one or both coming to me saying "so and so did this" or whatever and it gets old after a while. I always say if no one is physically hurt then settle it between the two of you and they usually do.

This is just a part of life for kids.
If kids don't argue atleast some of the time then I wouldn't consider them normal.
:
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by MissRubyandKen
Finding time to play with both of my kids, all of us together, has been a wonderful way for us to feel connected and have a good, peaceful time.
I do this as well, but that doesn't always ensure perfect harmony between children who live together and deal with eachother day in and day out.
In our family we do everything together. We play in our pool, draw, play toys inside the house, go for bike rides as a family several times a week, go to church, explore the 2 acre piece of land we live on, they watch movies together in the guestroom most nights together, etc.

My kids are 6 years apart in age and can get along great. There are days her brother holds her and carries her around and loves on her and does sweet things for her (makes cards for her when she is sick) but there are those other days where everything she does gets on her nerves. For those of you with really young children expect your children not to get along "at times". No one is perfect. Heck, my DH and I can get on one another's nerves at times. Our children are learning how to deal with relationships right now. It's good for them to see what it's like to get themselves through disagreements with one another. As my son gets closer to being a teen (only a couple years away) he gets to where he wants "his" time alone and I can understand that and so his little sister can really get on his nerves. I just try to help him work it out and we discuss things all the time on how to deal with her. But that won't stop the bickering at times, they're just kids.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mommy68
I do this as well, but that doesn't always ensure perfect harmony between children who live together and deal with eachother day in and day out.
I'm pretty sure I wouldn't even know what perfect harmony would look like.
 

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I agree that they seem better when I play with them, either because they have my attetion, or Im just there to supervise?

Also, though I sometimes forget and resort to yelling about what NOT to do, it REALLY works to modle what TO do. When I say, "Dont hit your sister" ds just smiles and keeps hitting, looking to me for response. When I say, "No, dont hit, KISS your sister", then I kiss her, ds kisses too then I make a big deal out of it, "oh, how sweet!"

Always praise the good behavior when you see it. As busy moms its easy to forget this, they are being good, so we are doing laundry or posting at MDC!!


When dd is crying because ds hit her, or vice versa,again yelling at the hitter is ineffective. IGNORING The hitter and heaping the attention on the hitee works wonders. (Because kids want your attetion, thats the pay off).

And now I have to go buy some of those books!
 

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I encourage my kids to take up their beefs with each other as much as possible. So rather than "Your brother is poking you? That sounds unpleasant," I try "Your brother is poking you? Why are you telling me about it? Tell HIM how you feel about that." (However, mine are much closer in age, so I don't know if that tactic would work with your dc.)

I also spend a lot of time actively trying to foster loving feelings between them. When I have one alone with me, I might say something like, "Did you see the way your little brother watched you every minute you were playing t-ball? He really looks up to you!" Or "I noticed you really took care of your little brother on the slides yesterday. He sure is lucky to have you around!" etc.

HOWEVER. I think it's really important to keep a clear head about the scope of your influence, as a parent. Ultimately, a lot comes down to the personality of the kids in question. My kids are right now in a phase where they are SO sweet and loving with one another - they write love notes to each other, and play together constantly. But I know that at any moment that can change, and I try to not get MYSELF too bound up in whether or not they are "friends." My main goal is to be sure that everyone in this family feels safe, valued, and self-determining. Friendship (while lovely) has to be seen as gravy, or I'll end up losing sight of the other stuff.

It's hard, though, when they're hateful to one another, isn't it? It's like when you're 14, and you have your first REAL boyfriend, and your best girlfriend and he don't get along!
 
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