Every child is a blessing and with more children in the family, the joy, fun, and laughter also increase.
However, when you have multiple children, you are certainly faced with the issue of sibling rivalry.
Siblings close in age are seemingly more susceptible to sibling rivalry because they are more likely to be going through the same phase, hence greater competitiveness.
My boys are only one year apart and they compete over almost everything.
They can compete over the silliest thing like who presses the lift button first, or who brushes teeth first.
After going through Session 5 of Positive Parenting Solutions, I realized that there are actually things that I have unwittingly done or said that might have unconsciously encouraged this sense of competitiveness between my children.
Sometimes to get the children to bathe, we have bath races where my husband and I each bathe a kid.
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Other times we would see who runs to hug daddy first when he gets home.
As I'm writing this I think all these silly competitions are actually propagated by me.
These might have been fun and harmless 'races' but they actually play a part in cultivating a sense of competition between my boys.
Session 5 also provides tips on how we can train our children to resolve conflict on their own.
Instead of always intervening, passing judgment or taking a side, we can encourage independence, cultivate problem-solving skills and promote teamwork among siblings by training them to resolve conflicts on their own. (Read: Encourage Our Children Instead of Praise)
To be honest, I find it really challenging to implement the action plans suggested in Session 5. I do think they are practical and constructive suggestions, but it just seems hard for me to take a step back.
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Maybe it's because I have a strong desire to make sure things go in a particular way or I find it more 'efficient' when I step in.
I have noticed that my boys are indeed capable of resolving conflict on their own with some training.
In order to implement the steps as suggested in Session 5 of Positive Parenting Solutions, it requires confidence in your children and also a willingness to let go of parental control to a certain extent, in order for your children to explore in finding a solution agreeable among all parties.
It is not an easy learning journey for both parents and children, but I do believe it is certainly worth the effort.
The good news is, you can also pick up the 10 tips provided in Session 5 on promoting sibling harmony.
Something common that happens as part of sibling rivalry is fighting for toys. Typically, parents would encourage our children to share, especially when our kids are playing in public with other kids.
But is it really a good idea to share all the time?
Are we actually taking away the opportunity to train a child in learning to be patient and wait for their turn?
Are we removing the opportunity for a child to positively assert his need to enjoy a toy by himself?
After all, even as adults, sometimes we might not want to share our favorite beverage, snack or simply pass on the TV remote in the middle of our favorite TV series just because our spouse wants to watch a sports event.
There are lessons we can learn from Session 5 about not forcing our children to share, and instead, to encourage the learning of taking turns.
Another important lesson from Session 5 of Positive Parenting Solutions are the three important tips in guiding our children to make meaningful apologies.
We all teach our children to say 'sorry' when they hurt each other or when they make mistakes. But there is more to it than just making our kids say the word 'sorry'.
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It is about them being truly apologetic and comprehending that their actions have hurt someone else and that they should also be willing to seek forgiveness and try their best to not repeat the same mistake.
The other party also needs to learn the art of graciously forgiving someone else.
To find out more on Positive Parenting Solution, click on the picture below for a FREE webinar that comes with a free workbook and a report on "Backtalk Battles" that gives you a 5-strategy guide on dealing with your children when they talk back.
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