Siblings Won't Stop Arguing
QDear WholeFamily Counselor, I have two daughters, 12 and eight. Both girls argue with each other several times a day. There has been competition between both of them for many years. My oldest tries to tell me that her sister is to blame for the arguments and vice versa. When I am not around and they fight, the younger calls me to tell me the whole story. It usually ends up that the older will call the younger "stupid" or another hurtful name which my youngest becomes very sensitive to. When I try to talk with both, of course they blame the other and think the other should change.
Seven- and Eight-Year-Olds Fight
My seven and eight-year-old sons always fight when the older one has friends over. The younger one always wants to be included and the older one doesn't always want him around. How can I help them resolve this conflict?
Brothers Fight on Weekends
QOur 16-year-old son is at boarding school and comes home on weekends. When he does, he and his 10-year-old brother fight like cats and dogs. The dinner table, which used to be a nice place with easy give-and-take, has turned into one long argument. I know this is because the little one wants the attention he's used to and the big one wants to talk to us because he's not home most of the time. How can we satisfy both their needs and end this constant fighting? A Guest Expert Jackie Goldman, MS, answers: Your children are at different stages in their lives and while it might appear that the older one doesn't need as much attention as the younger, the fact that's he's away most of the time means that when he is home, he needs more attention than other kids his age would normally need.
Supporting Sibling Friendships
We all hope that our children will love and respect each other. At the very least, we expect them to play together, get along and be friends. But sometimes it seems that siblings fight constantly and the noise and tension drives parents crazy. How can we get our kids to love each other as much as we love them? How can we get a little peace and quiet when we come home from work, talk on the phone or sit down to dinner? First let's look at some of the underlying issues in sibling relationships: * Children are naturally deeply interested in other children and are drawn to each other.
Teen Sibling Strife
How do you communicate with teenagers who keep seeing each other in a bad light? Two of my children, aged 17 and 19, attack each other verbally every day. There is lots of blame and negativity and it rips me apart. I try to teach them to give the benefit of doubt, but they consistently assume each other's intentions are bad. How can I effectively help my teenage siblings to get along with each other? Guest Expert, Jackie Goldman, M.S., answers: My feeling is that you cannot play the role of judge and jury. If you choose sides, the child (who is almost an adult in this case!) you don't side with in any particular argument will be angry and the other one will wonder with whom you will side tomorrow.
Helping Big Brother Make Room for Baby
Everyone was excited when I came home from the hospital with our fifth child. Fifth child! You'd think that everyone in the family was used to the noise already, the sharing, and the conflicting schedules. Perhaps this baby would slip right in, into all those welcoming hands. But standing alone on the side of the room was my "baby" - my two-year-old son who had only recently started leaving me in the mornings. It was time to go back to my two favorite experts on children, Penelope Leach and Haim Ginot, to get another dose of what it feels like to be pushed out of babyhood.
Siblings Always Want The Same Things
QI have two children, Ling, 34 months old and Cho, 15 months old. They always want the same thing at the same time and always end up fighting and crying. Could you please advise me how to deal with this problem? A First of all, rest assured that while it is very frustrating for a parent to deal with, it is quite normal for children under the age of three to have difficulty sharing items and waiting for their turn.
Runaway Bunny Helps Big Sister Adjust to New Baby
During my last pregnancy, I found one book, far and above all others, to be particularly helpful to myself and to my three-year-old while she waited for her baby sister to be born. The Runaway Bunny, by Margaret Wise Brown (author of the classic Goodnight Moon,) is about a little bunny who wants to run away. When he announces his intention to his mother, she says, "If you run away, I will run after you. For you are my little bunny.
Help! My Kids Fight All the Time
Dear WholeFamily Counselor, I have two boys who recently turned four and two, and the oldest cannot pass by his brother without hitting, pushing, or rolling on top of his brother all of which causes the younger to cry and scream. I have had the oldest to go to his room, and have spanked him and he also has to apologize and ask for forgiveness. There are times he is kind but the above is most often seen. I'm at my wits end, what can I do without doing bodily harm to him?
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