LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – It’s Parenting Connection Tuesday and 6 News is here for you with tips, strategies, and helpful reminders from local child development experts on how we can be better parents and guardians.
Today’s topic: Helping siblings get along over the holidays.
Look, we’ve all seen it or have been a part of it, right? — brothers and sisters not getting along. It’s part of life, but the holidays are here and kids are expected to be on their best behavior, and that includes being kind with their siblings.
We’ve talked a little bit about helping siblings get along before on Parenting Connection, but this time, we have a few strategies that are more geared toward behavior during the holidays. We of course want our children to get along, support each other, and find ways to play together nicely — but that’s not always realistic, especially when hosting get-togethers, attending one, or just trying to have a peaceful family Thanksgiving meal.
Here are a few ways to help get your kids to start warming up to each other as the holiday season approaches:
*Encourage teamwork. Have them do a chore or fun holiday activity together and have them work as a team. Maybe even offer a reward for showing great teamwork.
*Compliment your kids when they’re getting along. Experts say this will provide an encouraging boost to copy this behavior for more praise.
*Look at old holiday photos and videos of them being nice to one another. Experts say this will remind your kids of just how much fun they can have together.
But parents still need to parent… so don’t forget to:
*Set Boundaries & Enforce Limits. This means physical acts like hitting should never be allowed, and the consequences should be well known and enforced immediately.
*Avoid comparing your kids to one another. This cancels out the competition for mom and dad’s attention.
*Plan time with each of your kids every day — at least 10 minutes for them to feel special.
Child experts also say, knowing when and how to intervene can make a big difference in your children’s relationships with one another. Always picking a side, or over-reacting one way or the other can send the wrong signals as well.