The rain has finally stopped here in Cleveland and we have had a few of days of sunshine. The sandbox in the park had a couple of days to dry up. My two younger children were itching to get themselves dirty.
My son took out the sand toys. There is one toy in particular that they have a hard time sharing. When he brought it out, I inwardly groaned, remembering all the fights the kids had over this particular pail that made a smiley face in the sand.
I thought that we need a plan and I quickly used some of the tips that I had just taught in my sibling class.
1. Name the problem:
Me: “Oh no! That smiley face pail always gives us problems. It is tough to share. Both of you always want that one first.”
2. Be positive and invite them to think of solutions:
Me:” I know we can think of a solution. I am sure if we put our heads together we can figure out how to share this toy.” Maybe we can think of some rules to help us share it.”
Sara: “I know we can each have it for 5 minutes”
Me to Mikey: “How will that work for you?”
Mikey: “No way I need more than 5 minutes!”
3. Offer choices:
Me to Mikey: Ok, you need more time than 5 minutes- how many minutes do you think you need? 5or 10 minutes?
Me to Sara: “He needs ten minutes, will that work for you?”
4. Name the problem again:
Me: “Ok, good we figured out how many minutes for each of you guys. Now the next problem is who is going to use it first. How should we figure that out?”
Sara: “He can go first, if you help me on the swings.”
Me: That sounds like a good plan. I can help you on the swings.
5. Praise children for a solution and reiterate the plan:
“I am so glad we figured out a solution. We really put our heads together. Mikey is going to go first with the sand pail while Sara and I play on the swings. After 10 minutes it will be Sara’s turn. Then after those 10 minutes we will switch again. Let’s get started!”
Crisis averted! Staying calm, positive and solution oriented is the trick to helping children to get along. To learn more on how to help your children get along buy our “How To Handle Sibling Rivalry Without Losing Your Mind” audios.