Tip #4 – Sibling Rivalry & Conflict – Ways We MAKE Ourselves MORE Crazy! – 5 Minute Motivation
Tip #4 – Sibling Rivalry & Conflict – Ways We MAKE Ourselves MORE Crazy! – 5 Minute Motivation
Ok families, we're moving on to tip #4 in our sibling rivalry & conflict series where we're expanding on these 5 strategies:
1.) Avoid using comparison & competition between kids
2.) Let them have negative feelings about each other
3.) Teach them how to take turns & trade (vs. forcing)
4.) Have an accurate story & mission to empower & mentor vs. fix / rescue
5.) Teach win/win & repair
I'm a power girl (someone who loves to lead & feels valuable & powerful when I'm in charge) ... and I'm raising a big time power little girl ... so I absolutely love finding areas in life where I can feel more "at choice" vs. "like I have my back pushed up against a wall and I HAVE to _____________".
When someone says "you have to do it like this", I almost have a knee jerk reaction to do the opposite, anyone else?
Being "at choice" feels good to us all, so today we're looking at tip #4 from our Sibling Drama series: CHOOSING an accurate story & mission as parents!
I find that when I am "at choice" with life decisions...I feel a whole heck of a lot more peaceful & joyful and can do a better job at remaining calm through situations, even when they are stretching me to my max.
So when it comes to managing sibling rivalry & conflict with integrity, it's important that we all see that we ARE at CHOICE with how we view our role, as well as the story we tell ourself about our kids and the sibling challenges they have.
Since many of us don't get any type of parenting instruction before we have kids (or at least before they become toddlers), we often have some pretty solid belief systems that were handed down to us from our own upbringing and culture.
Once you have a few kiddos, it can be easy to take these "hand me downs" & fall into thinking that we need to:
- fix our kids problems (because they can't do it themselves and we always know best)
- solve our kids challenges (or bad things will happen)
- protect our kids constantly (or they will get hurt)
- police interactions with siblings when things get rough (or problems won't get solved correctly)
- show our kids who's boss and that fighting WON'T be tolerated in our home (or they'll walk all over us & disrespect our desire to have a peaceful home)
- rescue our children who are the underdog (because they're too little to stand up for themselves or capable of protecting themselves)
- BE the perfect peacekeeper in our homes (so things don't get out of order)
- punish children who disrespect other children (so they learn to "be nice")
- control our kids (or people will think we are raising brats & are awful human beings)
- have all the answers on how to make them get along (because if we don't, we suck at parenting)
- keep everyone in check (so no one ever gets hurt)
Boy oh boy, just looking at that list exhausts me!
Now, if you're silently screaming "But wait, it IS my job to do all those things"....hang in there, let me explain how I want you to see it a bit differently.
While it is our job as parents to raise kids who are good humans, it's just too heavy of a burden to carry when we think we have to do it all.
When we constantly only see the flaws in our kids and tell ourselves a negative, stressful story about how they NEVER get along, we actually CAUSE ourselves to feel angry, frustrated & annoyed...and then all of a sudden, our daily actions stem from THOSE feelings, which we actually created ourselves.
To find true peace, joy, contentment, purpose & SUCCESS in our parenting journey, we can CHOOSE to see our role differently & tell ourselves a story that is much more healthy & accurate.
So how about taking a break from your sergeant role (Thank GOD for policemen, but we don't need to be one in our homes) and trying on the role of Professor / Mentor / Coach / or Guidance Counselor. When you embrace the truth that this role is more inline with your heart as a parent, you will definitely feel less pressure to force your kids to get along, and more creativity to influence them to learn how to form strong relationship skills that will last a lifetime.
Some truths that you can carry with you daily as you navigate your role as a teacher:
...ALL of our kids are:
- BEYOND capable of learning to self-manage
- IMMENSELY kind & loving if we keep reminding them who they truly are
- INCREDIBLY wise in their ability to learn from their mistakes when we teach them with compassion & firmness
- SUPER helpful when we ask them for assistance in co-creating a peaceful environment in our homes
- HIGHLY respectful to us when we remain respectful, kind & loving as the leaders of our households
- DEFINITELY capable of learning how to take care of themselves when they feel hurt, sad, angry or scared by their siblings
- CRAZY strong in their ability to physically recover from an event where a sibling made a mistake and hurt them
- THANKFUL when they have parents that offer forgiveness & grace, even when they make big mistakes & act out of integrity
- LEARNING tremendous amounts everyday about how to be in relationships with others in a way that feels good for all
- BEYOND grateful when we never give up on them and stay committed to teaching them with integrity
...ALL of us are:
- learning & growing every day alongside our kids
- capable of detaching from our kids problems, even when there is sadness, hurt & anger present in our homes
- incredibly courageous, especially when we try new teaching positive parenting methods with our kids
- capable of embracing a growth mind-set with a motto like "I don't have the answers YET, but I'm learning everyday"
- beautiful, normal, messy human beings who have good days & bad days & are defined by the love we live daily (not the mistakes and imperfections that are present in our homes)
- NOT supposed to have all the answers
- immensely strong, particularly when we extend grace & compassionate when we are tempted to lecture & shame
- supposed to be in continuous learning, which is a beautiful thing
- stronger when we are vulnerable enough to say "I don't know it all, and am open to see where I am flawed too"
- raising kids who may be challenged in their relationship with their sibling(s) but are learning everyday what works well & what doesn't, as well as what sits right with their soul
- valuable beyond measure, not just for "the kids were perfect moments" but also for all the other "I tried my best, but today was a mess" moments!
- powerful when we trust that we are loved and that we belong, even when it feels like we are getting NO love & that NO one understands how hard our world is right now
- KILLING it at this parenting game, not because our kids get along perfectly, but because we're committed to strengthening our family in ways that honor each & every soul in our care
So what do you think? Are you ready to lay the smackdown on negative thoughts & false stories, and instead embrace the truth about your role as a parent & what your personal life story is right now?
- Embrace the truth
- Choose to tell yourself an accurate story
- Shed frustration & annoyance
- Embrace peace, hope, empowerment & creativity
So what is your story of truth that you'll tell yourself each day about your kids' sibling rivalry & conflict?
Write it out in your journal with just a few sentences or two like:
"We are in a tough season of parenting & raising little souls & our kids bicker & fight sometimes AND we're learning so much everyday. With a STRONG intention to teach them with kindness and compassion how to have respectful relationships in their lives, we are taking responsibility for our own contribution and learning how to detach more from their drama. It's no "easy street" right now AND I'm extremely proud of myself for taking small steps each day, starting fresh every morning, offering compassion & grace when I would have screamed & yelled in the past, and that I have found a community of like minded families who are also working hard to strengthen their family".
If you're not a writer, record a quick voice memo on your phone & play it when the ANTS (automatic negative thoughts) creep up. Battling the negative story is no easy task, but it's important to keep trying & keep solidifying the true, accurate story of how AWESOME you & your kids are!
Try it out this week & let me know how it goes & how it seems to affect your kids who are deep in sibling rivalry and conflict.
I think you're going to see that when YOU find more peace, your kids will follow suit way more quickly then when you were trying to MAKE them change!
Click BELOW to watch the full 5 min. motivation video, where I give lots more ideas & support!
We'll be back next week to talk all about our final tip: How to teach win / win when kids are battling & relationship mending after someone's been hurt.
DO YOU STRUGGLE TO FEEL CONFIDENT IN YOUR PARENTING APPROACH, WORRYING “AM I DOING THE RIGHT THING?”
DO YOU DEEPLY WISH YOUR CHILDREN WOULD LISTEN, COOPERATE & RESPECT YOU MORE?
ARE THERE TIMES WHEN YOU LOSE YOUR TEMPER AND JUST CAN’T FIND THE PATIENCE TO REMAIN CALM WITH YOUR KIDS?
Looking to learn more about Positive Parenting but have trouble finding time? Would you love a class you can do at home, on your own schedule?
You’re in the right place!
Learn New Tools, Expand Your Heart & Strengthen your Family from the comfort of your own home with The Fresh Start Family Foundations Course