• siblings to like each other, now and in the future
• a peaceful home
• prevent abuse
• prevent older child manipulating younger child
• prevent physical fighting among kids/violence
There was discussion about to what extent we should intervene vs. stay out of it and let the kids figure things out themselves. We noted that jealousy between kids is often a problem.
Tools -- we shared ideas and suggestions that we’ve tried with some success, such as:
• Asking: “Is this how you treat your friend?” because siblings should be treated as well as friends
• Diffuse the situation by having the kids play a game, such as “rock, paper, scissors” to solve a problem
• For an oldest child, have them talk to an adult (aunt, uncle, grandparent, family friend) who was also the oldest child so they can talk about what it is like to be the oldest, etc…
• Praise the child for kindness to a sibling when you see it, to encourage it.
• Have a Point/Reward system for good behavior among siblings
• Let the kids know the whole family is a “team” and their siblings are part of their team
• Serve as a coach/guide to help kids identify the problem they’re having and look for solutions (Kelso’s Choice can help)
• Parent must stay calm and consistent
• Give immediate consequences for physical violence
• Separate siblings when necessary
• Teach kids how to take deep breaths to calm down
• Teach them how to take the high road. Even teach your child to say “whatever” in response to annoying statements from siblings.
• Book: “Siblings Without Rivalry”
• Book: “The Legend of Ninja, Cowboy, Bear”
• Deep breathing techniques like "Smell the soup, cool the soup” and “smell the flower, blow the candle out.”