Welcome to the August 2013 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Sibling Revelry
This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month our participants have written about siblings – their own, their hopes for their kids, and more. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.
In my opinion, many kid problems (siblings bickering back and forth), are due to the environment inside the home. An environment that promotes competition, gives rewards, and lays grounds for punishment – will only encourage children to be competitive with each other.
There are a few things that we have done, that really have led to children that love and respect each other.
The Environment inside the home
In my home, I have tried to create an environment that is more cooperative rather than competitive. It’s based on – we all work together to get to where we are going. I really try not to create an environment where they are competing against each other. Our children are not inhibited by a star system or point system or any other type of system. I don’t want their major worry to be – who is first and who is last. Turning everything into a competition in order to motivate students/kids – does not work. All it does is create an environment where the kids are trying to outdo each other to the top.
Unfortunately, what comes out of point systems – is that the kids learn that they cannot function without the competition. The competition drives them – and it becomes necessary in all aspects of their life.
Lead by Example
My husband and I have adopted a non-confrontational way of dealing with each other and our children. It’s a system built out of love and respect. We do not yell at each other – even if we disagree strongly. We are never angry at each other. We can sit down and have a discussion that is civil and respectful. When children see this type of interaction, they then adopt it as their own. If they see parents arguing, fighting, and competing against each other – than they will adopt that type of attitude.
It’s important for children to see that their parents respect and love each other – and in turn treat each other with respect.
I listen to what the kids say. It’s very important. If Ava comes up and sits on my lap and snuggles, she is telling me she needs some of my time. So, I give it to her. I give her my time. Same goes with the other two.
All of our children are four years apart. This gives each one of them their time to be a baby. Everybody has their time to ride in the stroller, and have most of the attention. This has worked in our favor. When the kids are four years apart, they are not playing with the same toys – so no need to fight over toys. They are in a different place and have different interests. I think it’s important for kids to feel that they had their time to be young, cared for, breast fed…special.
We haven’t had any problems with sibling rivalry and I feel by controlling the environment, treating the kids with respect, and proper spacing - has helped to maintain a calm and peaceful environment.
Do you have a problem with rivalry? How have you or how do you plan to combat this problem?
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:
- The Damage of Comparing Siblings — Comparing siblings can lead to hurt feelings and poor relationships. What Jana Falls has learned and why she hopes for more for her son.
- Connecting Through Sibling Rivalry — With four children who are spaced so that each child grows up in a pair, Destany at They are All of Me shares her method for minimizing the competition so her children can focus on bonding, rather than besting each other.
- Sibling Revelry — Lucy at Dreaming Aloud shares the two-week transition that happens every summer as her kids transform from bickering to learning how to play.
- Baby Brother born from an Ocean — Abby Jaramillo describes how her toddler connects in a possibly mystical way with her new baby brother and his birth at home, and Abby draws parallels with her own sister’s new baby.
- Hard, But Worth It — Claire at The Adventures of Lactating Girl discusses how difficult having two children can be, but how it’s definitely worth it.
- Raising Attached Siblings — At Living Peacefully with Children, Mandy and her husband are making conscious choices about how they raise their children to foster sibling connection and attachment.
- It’s Complicated — Henrietta at Angel Wings and Herb Tea reflects on how life’s twists and turns have taken her from a childhood with no siblings to a constantly changing family life with five children, including one in spirit.
- Support — sustainablemum reflects on how the differences between her relationship with her siblings and her husband’s have affected their family and at a time of need.
- Peas in a Pod — Kellie at Our Mindful Life enjoys the special relationship her oldest two children share.
- Lessening the competitive enviornment in the home — Lisa at The Squishable Baby discusses how downplaying competition in the home has led to cooperation, not competition.
- The complex and wonderful world of siblings — Lauren at Hobo Mamareflects on her choices to have not too many children, spaced far apart — and how that’s maybe limited how close their sibling relationship can be.
- 5 Ways to Help Young Siblings Have a Loving Relationship — Charise I Thought I Knew Mama shares the strategies that help her three year old and 14 month old have a somewhat beautiful relationship and aid in keeping peace in their home.
- 4 Steps to Encourage Sibling Revelry, even in Hot Moments of Rivalry — Sheila Pai of A Living Family share 4 Steps she uses to shift hot moments of sibling rivalry towards connected moments of sibling revelry and human compassion.
- Twins Are Fun — Mercedes at Project Procrastinot witnesses the development of her twins’ sibling bond.
- Growing Up Together- Sibling Revelry in Our House — Amy at Me, Mothering, and Making it All Work realizes that there is great utility in raising siblings that are close in age, and is grateful to have been blessed with healthy siblings that both love and challenge one another every day.
- Top 5 Ways to Reduce Sibling Rivalry — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now shares ideas that helped her two children be best friends along with Montessori resources for peace education and conflict resolution.
- Sibling Uncertainty — Alisha at Cinnamon and Sassafras wonders how her children’s relationship will change now that the baby is mobile.
- Living with the Longing — Rachael at The Variegated Life sees that she can live with her longing for another — without changing her plans.
- For My One and Only Daughter — Playing for Peace mommy reflects on her choice to not have more children in order to focus on other dreams.
- Siblings: A Crash Course in Relationship Training — How have your siblings prepared you for later relationships? One of Dionna at Code Name: Mama’s top priorities as mama of siblings is to help them learn how to navigate relationships.
- The Joys of Siblings: An Inside Joke — Ana at Panda & Ananaso shares the a glimpse into the joys of having siblings through sharing a perplexing yet hilarious inside joke betwixt her and her own.
- Sibling Support, even in the potty! — Even though Laura at Pug in the Kitchen‘s children didn’t start out best friends, they are joined at the hip these days, including cheering each other on with potty successes!
- Don’t Seek What Isn’t There – On Sibling Jealousy — Laura from Authentic Parenting analyzes the seeming desire people harbor for seeking out hints of sibling jealousy.
- Sibling Love / Sibling Hate? — Momma Jorje speculates whether her children will have a different sibling experience than her own. Did she make the right choices based on her own history?