I mentioned last week that I’ve had a few of those parenting-is-hard days lately. It seems like my kids (9 and 11) have been bickering more than usual.
But there’s always good to be found in the bad, right?
And in this situation, the good has been that I’ve had opportunities to implement a great tip Dani Johnson gives in her book Grooming the Next Generation for Success. Here’s the tip (summarized in my own words), from the chapter People Skills, under “Children need to be taught how to forgive and how to be forgiven”…
When your kids argue or are upset with each other and you get involved, ask them what they did in the situation and what their part was.
As Dani explains, this approach helps teach your kids to take personal responsibility for their actions.
Before reading this, when my son and daughter argued and I intervened, I usually said something like, “Tell me what happened,” and then gave each of them a chance to share their version of the story, one at a time, without interruptions.
While it was good that I was giving them a chance to talk individually, inevitably they’d end up telling me how the other one was at fault.
But lately, I’ve started asking, “What was your part in it?” and “What do you think you could’ve done differently?”
It’s really made a difference.
Not only has it helped to diffuse my kids’ arguments more quickly because it takes the blame factor away, it has also helped them to consider more how their actions and words affect each other.
*For more information about sibling rivalry, check out my post Six Suggestions to Stop Sibling Squabbles, or visit Dr. Mom, a pediatrician turned stay-at-home mom who recently wrote about this too, and who also happens to live near me. :)
What about you? Take a minute and share one of your parenting tips. It can be one you learned from someone else (friend, book, etc.), or one of your own. And it can be about any topic, whether sibling rivalry or not. I’m looking forward to reading them, and possibly sharing them on a future Mom-Monday!
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