Fighting Fair- How to handle those ever-endearing sibling fights
Have you ever looked at your kids and wondered where they came from? They must have come from alien parents because I know that I didn’t teach them to talk to each other that way! While sibling rivalry can be a very “normal” thing, it can be extremely frustrating for us adults. The whole “he is looking at me”, “stop touching me” fights while endearing to some parents, can become flat-out annoying to deal with on an everyday basis, while in car rides and any other time your darling kids are fighting for attention. My poor kids got the “short-end of the stick” when they were born to a therapist mommy. Of course, I am a professional, I have all types of training and education right? Yeah, but let me tell you how all of that training goes right out the door the minute I opened my mouth with my kids. I am the proud mommy of two boys who have a three years difference in age and an even more expansive difference in personality.
So what does the therapist mommy do? I researched techniques and spoke to other moms who were going through the same thing, much like you are probably doing right now! I found a few techniques that looked good on paper…then when I actually tried them…complete failure. Well, didn’t that make me feel good! Here I was a professional woman (probably just like you) and I couldn’t figure out how to keep myself from strangling my kids (figuratively speaking, of course). So I keep on trying and here is what I found to work for me.
When my kids started the ever-loving debate over who started what, I simply set them both down on separate chairs or separate ends of the sofa and made them figure out who did what and apologize for it. If one was accusing the other, I did not get involved. They had to work through it (in a civilized way)…together. They were “grouped” together until they figured it out. This worked well because they learned accountability for themselves and within the sibling relationship-learning how to protect and respond to each other’s needs. They also learned that there were no favorites and they could not “split” me.
While no parent is perfect, especially this one here, we have to learn to seek out support when we need it. What works for one family may or may not work for another. That is why family and individual counseling cannot be a “cookie-cutter” service. One of the best things that I did, as a young mother, was to find people in my life that could steer me in the right direction, support me and validate me when I thought that I was the worst parent ever.
If you believe that you could use extra support, don’t hesitate to give us a call. Peak Professional Group, LLC is committed to providing innovative services to our parents in a way that you know you are being heard and understood. Call us today for a FREE 15 minute telephone consultation. (919) 335-3105.
Samantha Mahon, M.S.,NCC,LPC
Samantha is a proactive and practical parenting expert. She is a Board Certified Counselor and she uses her knowledge of psychotherapy combined with her own personal and professional experiences to bring you the real-life options as parents.