Posts Tagged ‘sibling rivalry’

A Busy Parent’s Guide to Handling Sibling Rivalry

Sibling rivalry can be a cause for worry in some parents. However, it is a problem that can be corrected.

Part of preventing sibling rivalry involves understanding why it occurs in the first place. A combination of different changes can result in jealousy and competitiveness among brothers and sisters.

On of the most common causes of sibling rivalry is the loss of attention that an only child receives when a new brother and sister is born. Another cause of competitiveness between brothers and sisters is the feeling that he or she is not the favored child-that one or both parents’ love one of the children more than the others.

Often siblings will try to become the favored child by competing for their parent’s attention in some way. This could happen in two ways-by good deeds committed or by bad deeds committed.

A child who does good most of the time will receive attention from his parents, and so will a child that does “bad” things most of the time. The reason a “good” child chooses to always strive for positive approval is because those children may only feel loved when a parent notices something good he or she has done.

The “bad” child does “bad” things for a similar reason, to receive the love and attention from a parent that often accompanies discipline. (Negative attention to this child often seems better than no attention at all, which is often the reason why certain children will act out.)

Another aspect of sibling rivalry is for one child to find a way to get the other child in trouble. This may be accomplished when a jealous child decides to “tattle” on the other in the event that other child has done something that is considered wrong in one or both of the parent’s eyes.

Some children will even make up lies about a brother or sister, especially if the favored child who can “do no wrong” in a parents eyes will believe the lies told. This is true in a case when parents do not discipline fairly in a household.

Sibling rivalry can be seen as a negative aspect of growing up, or it can be seen as a positive aspect of growing up. Some view it as the first step towards two children learning how to resolve conflict. Parents can step in and help siblings learn how to “fight fairly”.

At a certain age, it is recommended to not intervene in every single little “battle” that your children may have. It is important to let them learn to work out conflicts on their own. If you allow them to develop healthy conflict-resolution styles chances are they will develop mature friendships and relationships when they are older.

On the other hand, you do not want to allow your children to abuse one another by hitting one another or calling names. However, you want to encourage them to learn how to get along and to forgive one another when hurt has been caused.

One thing you can do as a parent to decrease the likelihood that your children will hate one another is to love them for who they are as individuals. Although you cannot always treat each child the same, you can try to be as fair as possible when enforcing rules, applying discipline, and allowing certain freedoms.

Also, it is important that you as a parent avoid comparing one child to another. For instance, it is best to not make statements to your children such as “why can’t you be more like your sister (or brother)?”

In the long wrong this can damage a child’s self-esteem. Do your best to encourage all of your children to develop into the unique beings that they are.

 

TLC For Kids, Inc. has been St. Louis’ premier nanny and babysitting agency for over 30 years. TLC For Kids’ dedicated staff is ready to assist you in finding nannies, tutors, newborn care specialists, sitters and more.  We serve St. Louis, Atlanta and Florida. Reach us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or 314-725-5660

How to be Cool, Calm and Collected When Kids Push Your Buttons

If you are a parent, you know that your own children are those who are most skilled at knowing and pushing all your buttons. Since we are generally in contact with our children more than anyone else, they become very knowledgeable about who we are and what makes us tick. They also know what to do when they are seeking a reaction from us. Here is what you can do to remain cool, calm and collected when your children push your buttons and are waiting for a reaction.

Count to Ten

This is not for the sake of your child, nor is it a countdown to consequences for him (or her). This is a countdown for you. Sometimes when our children are being immature, which is normal for their age and to be expected, we simply need time to refocus and put things into perspective. Stop, count to ten, and remember that your child is only acting this way because they are indeed a child.

Talk It Out

The best way to resolve a conflict between you and your child is not to explode in anger, but to talk it out with them. Sit down and discuss what is really going on. Talk to them calmly and aim to find out why they feel the need to push your buttons in this manner.

Do a Relationship Checklist

Often when a child is intentionally pushing your buttons, there is a reason he wants your attention. It is possible that you have not been spending enough time together, and he is looking for a way to connect? Does he feel like at this point, any attention is preferable over none? Jog your memory and see if you can find any reason why your child may be acting out in this way towards you.

Remember How It Felt to Be That Age

Sometimes pushing buttons is simply the normal actions of an immature child. Children do not have the life experience we do, and often struggle to find efficient ways to communicate with others. Take a moment and remember how it felt to be that age. What made you feel good? What made you feel sad? What made you feel connected to your parents, and disconnected? Remember what it was like to be a child, and this will surely lead you to a place of greater understanding and patience with your own.

Think about Life in 20 Years

When all other methods fail to help you feel calm, think about the future. Picture you and your child 20 years from now. What will you fondly remember about these days? What will make you wince with regret? This can be an effective way to quickly put things back into perspective. Times passes so quickly and we only live each day once. Think about how special these days are as a family, and you are certain to emerge as a more caring parent who is slow to react in a negative manner.

Children can surely push our buttons, but our time as parents of non-adult children is relatively short. If you can keep this in mind, and compile a list of distraction strategies for your own benefit, it will help you get through the moments that you feel you are close to losing your cool. When your child is saying and doing everything to get a reaction out of you, maintain your composure and stay cool, calm and collected.

 

TLC For Kids, Inc. has been St. Louis’ premier nanny and babysitting agency for over 30 years. TLC For Kids’ dedicated staff is ready to assist you in finding nannies, tutors, newborn care specialists, sitters and more.  We serve St. Louis, Atlanta and Florida. Reach us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or 314-725-5660

Creating Family Traditions

What are some good ideas for creating family traditions? Here are some ideas based on the holiday. These can be useful to get you started but remember that your own family traditions can be whatever you want and they don’t have to be centered around a holiday at all. Part of the fun of a family tradition is that it is yours and you can do whatever you want.

• Create your own special day or holiday such as “unbirthdays” or “family day”
• Never go to bed without saying I love you
• Have a special birthday meal whenever a family member has a birthday
• On Saturdays, everyone cooks breakfast together
• Have a monthly movie day where you watch movies that explore traditions
• Sing a special birthday song made up by the family
• Keep a family journal and let everyone write in it
• Make a scrapbook for every family vacation
• Always eat dinners together as a family and talk about your day
• Take turns choosing topic of discussion at dinner

These are just some ideas for creating family traditions. You can use these to boost your own ideas and be sure to ask your family members to think of their own. You can have everyone write down their ideas for traditions and then vote as a family on the ones you want to make happen.

Ideas for Passing on Family Traditions

When it comes to passing on family traditions, there are many ideas here as well. The most important thing to remember is to remain consistent. It’s important to do something over and over again each time to become tradition. If your family does not seem enthusiastic about it right away, you will have to help motivate them by being consistent.

For example, hold an event every year at the same time and continue to encourage the family to participate. Remain positive about it even if others do not and always continue even if only a few show up. By doing this consistently and with enthusiasm, others will begin to join in and the tradition will continue. As soon as all parties give up and miss an event, the tradition dies along with any enthusiasm to do it.

Holiday Traditions

Here are some holiday traditions that we enjoy and might help you get started:

• For Easter, color eggs together or have an Easter egg hunt
• Volunteer at a homeless shelter for Thanksgiving or Christmas
• Collect or make an ornament each year at Christmas
• Have Thanksgiving dinners together with everyone helping to make a dish
• Have the children dress up as pilgrims and Indians on Thanksgiving
• Re-enact holiday events or perform a small skit as a family
• Act out the Christmas story
• Make cookies and milk for Santa
• Leave shoes outside for “baby New Year” to fill with goodies
• Create family New Year resolutions together

These ideas should help you with creating and passing on family traditions of your own. Whether you have your own family now or hope to one day soon, we hope that you will explore these options and ideas for family traditions. The memories you will create together as a family will last a lifetime.

 

TLC For Kids, Inc. has been St. Louis’ premier nanny and babysitting agency for over 30 years. TLC For Kids’ dedicated staff is ready to assist you in finding nannies, tutors, newborn care specialists, sitters and more.  We serve St. Louis, Atlanta and Florida. Reach us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or 314-725-5660

Problem Solving And Conflict Resolution For Children

Problem solving and conflict resolution for children should begin being taught early on. If you’re a parent of multiple children in your family this becomes apparent as it won’t take siblings long at all to become engaged in some type of ‘sharing’ violation with one another. Children of a family with other children almost immediately are engaged in a social type of activity albeit only with their brothers and sisters early on. Conflicts and resolving those conflicts soon become part of their day.

At an early age children are in more of a self exploration and self discovery mode. From there and from a socialization progression you will see kids playing together but not as a coordinated group. In other words, the next progression is to see a group of children ‘geographically’ playing together but they all still have their own toys and objects. The next step of the socialization of play is around 2 to 3 years old where you’ll see kids begin activities that begin to require interaction and subsequently problem solving and conflict resolution.

As parents and caregivers, you have the opportunity to actually teach conflict resolution and problem solving techniques and skills rather than just solving them. As a part of conflict resolution it’s important to get children to express themselves and their feelings and get past their initial emotional reaction. This will initially take some time and practice, and you should take the time to get back to, and discuss the conflict that occurred at a later time or date after the emotions have calmed sufficiently down. Discussing previous conflicts and how they could have reacted and handled them is a key in their emotional growth.

As all children do early on, before they have the ability to concisely express themselves, they learn that many times crying and even screaming resolves their conflict because as parents we try to assuage the behavior by getting them what they want or need. Understanding and teaching conflict resolution to your children is an integral part of their social development and growth. Without these tools, children will grow into adults resolving problems the only way the have ever known how to do – with emotional behavior, and sadly, many times with force.

There is a tremendous amount of excellent information on these techniques and teaching them to children of all ages. Make them part of your day, and a part of your child’s life and they will grow in depth and confidence.

 

TLC For Kids, Inc. has been St. Louis’ premier nanny and babysitting agency for over 30 years. TLC For Kids’ dedicated staff is ready to assist you in finding nannies, tutors, newborn care specialists, sitters and more.  We serve St. Louis, Atlanta and Florida. Reach us at tlc@tlcforkids.com or 314-725-5660

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