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Sibling fighting - driving me mad - what to do??

(15 Posts)
ohsmellyjelly Wed 21-Feb-07 12:04:56

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ohsmellyjelly Wed 21-Feb-07 12:13:28

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Elasticwoman Wed 21-Feb-07 12:13:45

Have you tried Time Out? We use the corner. Still do even with 12 and 10 yo. Only last night dh sent dd2 (age 10) into the corner because he saw her lash out at older sister.

You have to make the boundaries clear, eg, hitting is never allowed in any circs.

If there has been an increase in clashes between your two, try giving more attention. Eg, when little one is having a nap or engrossed in tv prog, or having time with dh, perhaps you could devote some one-to-one time to ds, whether it's reading a book, playing a game, doing an activity like cooking or just having a cuddle.

Whatever the source of your present crap time with dh, perhaps you could discuss with him how to cope with the children as a couple. It helps so much if two parents are consistent and don't play each other off against the other.

ohsmellyjelly Wed 21-Feb-07 12:25:52

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Elasticwoman Wed 21-Feb-07 20:04:10

How do you do time out, and for how long?

melpomene Wed 21-Feb-07 20:14:49

I highly recommend this book

It has lots of examples and practcal tips for helping siblings to get along with each other. The book recommends encouraging children to develop their own strategies for resolving conflicts without the need for parental intervention, which obviously isn't easy with very young ones, but it is possible. My dds are 1 and 3 and I have found that even at that age it's possible to encourage them to communicate with each other and resolve conflicts through compromise some of the time.

The other nice thing about the book is it's easy to read and even has some examples in comic strip format which tend to stick in one's mind

amelia02 Wed 21-Feb-07 20:30:46

Melpomene, book looks fab. Think will buy. I have 3 dc, aged 3y, 2y and 9 weeks. Ds1 (3yo) teases dd (2yo) and I keep changing from ignoring to telling off. How inconsistent but never know how to handle. Both v loving to ds2 (9 weeks) but sure that will change! I fought with my sibs and we get on really well now so keep thinking of that!

ohsmellyjelly Thu 22-Feb-07 13:35:36

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stormtrooper Thu 22-Feb-07 20:53:35

hi smelly, elastic, mel - would any of you be interested in talking to me about your experiences, what does or doesnt work for you?

I am writing an anecdote based book on sib rivalry - i posted on the media requests thingy, you can email me through thatif you'd like to or let me know how I can contact you.

It features my own kids too....so it's a kind of learning journey - mine fight relentlessly and I havent got all the answers yet!

therealcontrolfreakydave Thu 22-Feb-07 20:57:12

the book is really good. mine still fight but i feel empowered by having some strategies..... which help me stay calm and rise above it.... at least most of the time .

ohsmellyjelly Fri 23-Feb-07 14:06:14

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moosh Fri 23-Feb-07 14:49:19

Ohsmellyjelly, I was on here just a few weeks ago with the same situation. My ds's were fighting so badly that I was at the end of my tether. They are 7 and ds2 is 3 on Sunday. If dp and I are not getting along, I have noticed that it does escalate a little but even if we are getting along fine they are always squabbling. They play well together but but they can also fight badly too.

I do time out, taking toys away, I always make them apologise to each other I also explain that hitting and kicking is not nice, but even that doesn't always work, especially with ds2.

What I find sometimes works is distraction.
I would get one of them to help me with what I am doing and I'll get the other to do another job for me in another room just to seperate them a little. This works as they are both doing something to help mummy and they'll get positive praise for it.

Your not alone, I think I am in exactly the same boat as you most of the time.

Newburygirl Sat 24-Feb-07 19:55:47

Oh my god, how great it is to hear you all talk about sibling rivalry! (Well, on one level not so great I suppose but on the other ahdn great because I have people I can relate to!!!) This is normal then? I read somewhere that according to one survey 40% of parents experience sibling rivalry.
I have 2 children -dds (1 is 2 3/4 and the other 10 months.) My eldest goes from being super nice to sitting on top of the youngest, pushing her over, putting a finger in her eye when she is sleeping and we are out in the twin buggy.
I myself respond in a very inconsistent manner due to turmoil inside where, on the one hand, I want to totally explode and respond on a very protective level for the wee one, and on the other I recall the advice in the books: be calm, ignore behaviour, be firms, distract child, place away from situation.... and therefore go from being very calm and patient to hearing a very intense and loud voice screaming, 'No! We do not do that!' I have no idea where it comes from since I recall having been calm for at least 2 hours and then realise that I am not calm at all!

I explain carefully to eldest why we do not do these things to people and place her away from the situation where she screams and cries and is very apologetic only to return and repeat the incident again about 10 mins later. Then I feel myself getting a little irritated and then a little more annoyed and then very cross indeed.

Every day there are occurrences. Some days are better than others. It doesn't seem to go away totally, but I did read some very useful advice: If you don't want sibling rivalry, don't have another baby. Hmmmm...are we bound to this behaviour in one way or another for ever? Perhaps we should be disucssing ways in which we can cope within ourselves when this happens, since we appear to be applying the correct techniques.

I suggest that after the 4th time of explaining or time out we then depart from the room and apply some technique that will allow us to calm before the storm.

stormtrooper Mon 26-Feb-07 10:56:11

Moosh what happens if you ignore them while they are fighting? I have been trying this - with varying degrees of success I must admit....but it sometimes seems that the minute I get involved it all starts to escalate, because then I'm taking sides. It works to take a toy away if they're fighting over it, but half the time I'm not even sure what the fight's about.

Mine go in for a lot of verbal abuse too - am trying to think of a suitable sanction for my 4yo ds who goes around screaming Loser! at the others - which usually provokes a thumping....any ideas?

Sugarmagnolia Mon 26-Feb-07 11:56:38

Oh, us too. I can't really offer any advice only sympathise

DD, almost 6 is quick & clever but also very strong-willed and stubborn and always been one for power-strugglees.
DS, 3 1/2 is much more laid back and cuddly - hates arguments and shouting.

So she teases him relentlessly and he cries alot. But of course the more I tell her off and comfort him the more she does it (attention seeking!). I do try give her a lot of positive praise and 1-1 attention as well but it doesn't seem to help.

I just posted another thread about DS who seems upset so much of the time but I think it could very well be about sibling rivalry more than anything else.

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