Horrible physical fighting(10 Posts)
This has simply been a lifesaver for me in. No jargon, no 'ideology' just good practical advice. Good luck
Ds is 6 and dd will soon be 5 (15 months between them) so we have this at our house too. Ds will sometimes appear to hit dd for no reason and dd will slyly pinch ds. Othertimes they get on beautifully.
I have the following bits of advice (but no solutions so I will read the thread hoping for some):
1. On playdates (which I hate), the dcs are told they are not allowed in each other's rooms or to play in the same place - it just does not work. Any nightmares and it is the dcs' fault and they will be in trouble for it even if it was something their friends did - so they have to keep their friends in line (to be fair if the friend is off on a frolic of their own, the dcs would not be responsible).
2. I notice that they hit each other most when they perceive that one has been getting more attention than the other so as soon as I can see it going that way, I try and step in with lots of attention for the one who is about to lose it.
3. Increasingly I encourage the dcs to sort things out themselves (although I will act as mediator). If they are squabbling, they have until I count to 10 to arrive at a solution or I will intervene and no one gets what they want. If one has hit the other, I get them both to say what they think should happen and what they should have done differently in the situation. They usually say that the offending one goes to their room and the injured sibling decides when they come back. They never leave each other there for very long (not as long as I would - and they know it).
It's hard isn't it! There are occassions when nothing works so I send them both upstairs (as there is almost always fault on both sides) and say they can stay there until I have had a cup of tea and calmed down.
I have to say, increasingly many of my good parental intentions go out of the window with play dates and I just hang on for dear life.
Wine helps here as well. I have wondered what picking up parents would think if I opened the door with a glass in my hand as sometimes it is hard to wait until the little dears go home.
I disagree about the wine. One glass too many and your tolerence levels are lowered and your fatigue hightened. If you can keep it to 3 units, great. If not, in my expereince, it only adds to the problem.
Listening to your kids and asking them the right questions so they are encouraged to communicate with you are essential imho.
Rather than say, 'why in God's name would you do that' say what you see without condemning; 'I see a very angry and frustrated boy lashing out at his sister. Do you want to talk about it?' at first they probably won't, but these kinds of questions get the cogs turning. If he/they think they will be listened to and understood they are far more likely to tell you what is wrong. Then you sym-pathise and say somthing like, I understand now that you were feeking...but it's better to express your anger or frustration in words and then we can help you rather than misunderstand you and tell you off. It upsets me to see you or your sister hurt each other. Lets maybe try to do that next time?'
Couching things in consillatory 'I' statements rather than attacking 'you' statements can have a hugely positive effect in the short run.
Permissive on emptions but not on bad behavior.
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