Moms of 2 or more... — The Bump
School-Aged Children

Moms of 2 or more...

Can you help a sister out?

We're heading into the squabble stage and I'm trying to figure out how I want to handle this stuff.

In general I tell them to work things out for themselves.  I have no intention of spending the rest of my life refereeing every little "he took my toy" situation.

On the other hand, I have one that's a total button pusher and finds sport in trying to pissss off his brother.  The other day the other one finally stood up for himself and while part of me was cheering inside the other part had to discipline him for hitting.

What's your general guide line for when to step in?  When you think blood shed is imminent?

 So far I do a lot of "If you don't like how he's playing with you then go to your (or another) room where you can play by yourself".  (aka: walk away) 

They're young enough that they don't intuitively understand how to diffuse situations but I don't want to over coach them either.  

Frankly I think my button pusher needs some real life consequences too..... 

Our IF journey: 1 m/c, 1 IVF with only 3 eggs retrieved yielding Dylan and a lost twin, 1 shocker unmedicated BFP resulting in Jace, 3 more unmedicated pregnancies ending in more losses.
Total score: 6 pregnancies, 5 losses, 2 amazing blessings that I'm thankful for every single day.

Re: Moms of 2 or more...

  • I waffle between giving them the words to use to diffuse a situation (e.g. "please leave me a alone" etc) and asking the other to respect their nicely expressed request so that when they want to be left alone the other will AND telling them "I don't care, work it out yourselves."  They mostly get the "work it out on your own" when I'm barraged with unrelenting tattling from both of them.  I do sometimes give them a choice to figure out how to go to get along or they can have some time to cool off in their rooms.  Sometimes they both really do need to rest a bit in their rooms.  Usually this all happens around 4 pm when I know they're tired, I'm tired and everyone is on their last nerve.  We just kind of muddle through.  I do try to make sure that the younger isn't too beaten down by the older.  But, I secretly hope for the day she wallops him and puts and end to it.  lol

    It has gotten a million times better recently, though.  But, it was pretty tough for awhile. 

    DS1 age 7, DD age 5 and DS2 born 4/3/12
  • I am curious as well for ideas! I tell them to walk away from each other, but they don't seem to understand this comcept in our house and love to torture each other. Most of the time they do play rather niceley, but then there are days that I am at a loss too.
    Boy 1 2/06 - Boy 2 12/07 - Boy 3 9/09
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  • Check out the book Siblings Without Rivalry.  Really a great read -- I re-read it frequently!
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  • When pain is involved - but by then, it's usually too late.  

    My little one is the button pusher and I try to tell my big one to walk away, but it doesn't always work.  They get time outs from each other more often than any other punishment.  

    And, they're both ANGELS when the other isn't around -school, extracurriculars, with me by themselves, etc. 

  • This is a total pain, but taking time to model how to handle common squabble-causing situations really pays off in the long run.  I still suck at it sometimes, but logically I know that just telling kids to figure it out themselves, without teaching them how, basically just results in the bigger/stronger/meaner kid getting his or her way.  They're not born knowing how to resolve conflict, so we have to teach them, but ugh...it's so tedious!  This is also a big issue among teachers, and so many of us tend to resolve playground conflicts with vague solutions like, "Uh, okay, just ignore it" or "Why don't you go play somewhere else?" but that doesn't really solve the problem or teach them how to deal with conflict in the real world.

    DD2 is forever throwing herself on the floor and shrieking like a wounded donkey because DD1 did something she didn't like (took a toy she wanted, or whatever).  She's super-verbal and can talk in paragraphs, but she just won't do it when she's upset--then she speaks only in shrieks and tears!  I try to sit down with her and go, "So you're upset because Sissy took the fishy game and you wanted it?  Sissy doesn't know you wanted it--you have to tell her.  Say, 'Hey, Sissy!  I was playing with that!'" etc.  I coach them through the whole thing and then remind DD2 at the end, "See? When you cried and screamed, Sissy didn't know what you wanted.  You have to tell her.  Screaming doesn't fix it."

    We've had to talk a lot about how sharing doesn't = giving someone whatever you have the second they want it. If it's something they can do together, then they're not allowed to exclude each other from whatever they're doing (unless DD1 is doing something with tiny pieces that's one of her special "big-kid" activities, or something like that), but if it's just one toy, you have to say, "Can I play with that when you're done?" and wait your turn.  I've started having them count on each other (counting to 20 or 30) and then practicing how to switch nicely when it's the other person's turn, and praising them like crazy when they do it well.  Again, it takes a while, but this is stuff they need to know for school, too--there are no closed games at recess, they have to count on someone for a turn on the swings, and the stuff is for everyone, so they have to share or take turns.

  • I tell frequently tell my kids, "I'll give you 2 minutes to work it out yourself, and if you can't I will work it out for you. Trust me, neither of you will like MY solution."

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