Sibling Rivalry

The fighting between my girls is what brought me to my knees as a parent. The pinching, pushing and hitting left me feeling devastated. Some days the sweetness between them was the most beautiful thing I had ever witnessed, and on other days, I would go to bed crying. It took me quite some time to understand that the relationship between my girls was interdependent on the closeness I shared with each of my children individually; and as I came to understand this important nuance of familial relations, it made perfect sense. Looking at the (for many years) fractured relationship I shared with my sister, it was clear our lack of connection with our parents greatly influenced the way we interacted with one another. There was never enough attention to go around so the strain on the parental relationship gave way to increased conflict between my sister and me. I couldn’t verbalize it as a child or adolescent, but it seems so clear to me now. What was more devastating was the way in...

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Why Must Kids Hit?

(Reposted of HandinHandParenting.org 07/2015)

Hitting, it’s the worst! Especially to see your own children hit one another. My girls used to get physical the moment there was any sort of kerfuffle. The Old Me would threaten, “You hit your sister again and you won’t be able to go to the park later!” It worked in the very short term, but they always seemed to resort to hitting again.

So I took an online Parenting by Connection class called “Taming Sibling Rivalry.” It was life-changing. I learned to set a limit without bribing, shaming, or threatening. I would remind the girls they were not allowed to hit one another and explain to them how sorry I was I didn’t get there in time to help.  Then I listened to the upsets and hurts they had with one another. I tried not to take sides and just remained calm finally knowing that it was their struggle to get through and not mine.

When the girls came together to “explain” each side of...

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