Sibling Tips for Summer

Summer days can be a great time for siblings to spend real time together and play.  These can also be days full of bickering, name calling and short tempers.  Here are a few ideas to give them elbow room and hopefully improve their time together.

  • Get them outside – I was talking to a mom just the other morning who said she didn’t remember bickering with her brothers so much growing up and is amazed at how much her kids are already bickering with each other this summer break.  Then she remembered how much time she and her siblings spent outside during breaks riding their bikes and at the neighborhood playground with friends.  I know you can’t just send them outside to amuse themselves for 8 hours a summer day like my mom did in the 1970s but you can get them outside more.  Everyday plan to ride bikes, hit a playground, scooter, go for a nature walk or just play in the backyard.
  • Time apart – As much as I want my kids to enjoy their time together, a little time apart can go a long way towards that end.  This means having some stretches of time where they each pick a room of the house to play in separately.  In a bigger way, you might plan for them to have individual playdates when the other is out of the house.  This can take some doing but will allow them to focus on play while you avoid having to run interference.
  • A need to protect the older – So often we excuse our younger child’s behavior and expect the older child to understand.  If the younger messes up an older’s puzzle, we might say “Oh, she doesn’t know.  She’s just three!”  Over time, the older’s frustration may hit a breaking point.  The answer is to find somewhere in the house the older can work on projects uninterrupted or store activities mid-build.  My older sdaughter spent a bit of time playing up on the kitchen counter with more detailed toys when her sister was a toddler.  It gave her a time she could relax without worrying about defending her space.
  • Shake up the time – So back to spending time together, get creative.  Slumber parties complete with sleeping bags and popcorn can be a novel way to spend a summer night together.  Having a picnic lunch in the backyard or even in the living room can be a fun change.

Join Dr. Rene for our upcoming evening workshop on Birth Order and Sibling Rivalry.  This in depth discussion will provide more ways to build successful play as well as better manage bickering, fighting and aggression, and guidelines for parents to dampen rivalry.  This will meet on Wednesday July 11th from 7:00-9:00pm.  For more information and to register, please visit http://www.eventbrite.com/org/283710166?s=1328924

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: