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Kids will be Kids

Now that it is summer and the children are home from school, it is very normal for there to be some sibling rivalry that occurs. Brothers and sisters often compete with one another for toys, activities and even attention from adults. This can be trying on parents and nannies, but there are a few strategies that can help lessen the arguing.

It’s important to remember that competition is normal and even healthy for children, but only to a certain extent. Part of the reason children have increased argumentative behavior over the summer months is because they are not on their normal routine. Children who are too young to be in school are accustomed to one on one time with their parent/nanny, and children who are in school are used to time with their friends and time away from their family. One step to decrease rivalry would be to establish a basic routine that includes some outside activities such as sports, music/dance lessons, swim lessons, etc.  And if possible, it is a great idea to have one child at a lesson, giving you an opportunity to spend some alone time with the other child. This will lessen their competitiveness for your attention.

When it comes to toys and items around the house, there is always going to be a little fighting for what toy belongs to which child, especially if the kids are close in age and/or the same gender. One idea to help this is to have toy share time, where child A gets the toy for half an hour and then child B gets the toy for the same amount of time (setting a timer usually works well because hearing the beep assures them that their time is up). This promotes fairness and sharing. Distraction is also one of the best ways to handle constant fighting. Try promoting a game or activity that involves everyone working and laughing together. Humor is always a good way to break up the fussiness and switching activities can make them forget why they were ever fighting.

Whenever possible, allow the children to work the argument out on their own. It’s so important to guide and direct children but it is also helpful when they can utilize what you’ve taught them in these situations. It’s important that they have their own space and that they learn to communicate with one another. Just keep a close eye on them and make sure that they aren’t coming to any physical harm, and encourage them to have a conversation instead of yelling, crying or whining.

Whichever approach that you take to increase harmony in the household, make sure that you always remain consistent. Children can get confused when they aren’t sure what the rules of the house are and how they are expected to act with one another. Parents and nannies should talk with one another and come up with strategies that they can all use when disciplining and guiding siblings.

This entry was posted on Monday, July 2nd, 2012 at 4:00 pm and is filed under Raleigh Nanny & Babysitting Blog. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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