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Handling sibling rivalry
Thursday, 07 December 2017 00:00

Sibling rivalry

How to help your kids get along

The term sibling refers to children who are related and living in the same family. Sibling rivalry has existed as long as families. Think back to Biblical times and Joseph’s problems with his brothers or of the dreadful time Cinderella had with her stepsisters!

It seems strange that whenever the word sibling comes up, the word rivalry seems sure to follow despite the fact that there are many solid sibling relationships in families (brothers and sisters who like and enjoy one another). However, it is the rivalry that gets attention the proverbial squeaky wheel.

What causes sibling rivalry? Think about it. Siblings don’t choose the family they are born into, don’t choose each other. They may be of different sex, are probably of different age and temperament, and. worst of all, they have to share the one person or the two people they most want for themselves: their parents. Other factors include:
Position in the family, for example, the oldest child may be burdened with responsibilities for the younger children or the younger child spends his life trying to catch up with an older sibling;
Gender, for instance, a son may hate his sister because his father seems more gentle with her. On the other hand, a daughter may wish she could go on the hunting trip with her father and brother;
Age, a five and an eight year old can play some games together but when they become ten and thirteen, they will probably be poles apart.

The most important factor, however, is parental attitude. Parents have been taught that they must be impartial but this can be extremely difficult. It’s inevitable that parents will feel differently about children who have different personalities with differing needs, dispositions. and place in the family. Picture the age-old conflict of the young child whining. “It’s not fair. Why can’t I stay up until nine-thirty like Johnny?” Fairness has nothing to do with it. Susie is younger and needs more sleep. It’s as simple as that, and parents are advised never to give in to the old “it’s not fair” strategy. Besides, when Susie is finally allowed to stay up until nine-thirty, it will seem a real privilege to her.

Being a better parent to your children
Tuesday, 07 November 2017 00:00

10 Steps to becoming a better parent

Raising kids is one of the toughest and most fulfilling jobs in the world.  Here are a few tips on how to become a compassionate, connected, loving parent.

STEP 1 Give your child love and affection.

Sometimes the best thing you can give your child is love and affection. A warm touch or a caring hug can let your child know how much you really care about him or her. Don’t ever overlook how important a physical connection is when it comes to your child. Here are some ways to show love and affection:
◦ A gentle cuddle, a little encouragement, appreciation, approval or even a smile can go a long way to boost the confidence and well-being of your children.
◦ Tell them you love them every day, no matter how angry at them you may be.
◦ Give lots of hugs and some kisses. Make your children comfortable with love and affection from birth.
◦ Love them unconditionally; don’t force them to be who you think they should be in order to earn your love. Let them know that you will always love them no matter what.

Tip: Try and remember the tokens of love that you did or did not get from your parents. Try to remember how it felt to be a child receiving or not receiving those tokens of love. Write a list of 10 things that you could do on a regular basis to show your child how much you love them. Remember “fake it till you make it”. If you did not receive tokens of love and affection from your parents it might feel awkward to give it back to your child. Even though it might feel awkward and foreign, try to start small with showing affection with ways that feel comfortable for you and then gradually move out of your comfort zone into bigger displays of love and affection.

STEP 2  Set up household rules and boundaries.


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