Most helpful positive review
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Great suggestions for handling ï¿½Quibbling Siblings
on August 2, 2003
This book has so many ideas to try with children of all ages. I'm sure I will continue to consult it as my children get older. I really like the "How To Step In So You Can Step Out" strategy that teaches parents how to intervene by acknowledging the feelings of both kids in the heat of the moment which defuses the situation so the kids can work it out themselves. I like the simple cartoons that clearly illustrate the communication "do's" and "donï¿½ts" with quibbling siblings. I also like the way the discipline tips maintain the dignity of both the parent and the child. When I am able to resist "automatic parenting" reactions like yelling and threatening, and use some of the great techniques I've learned, I feel so much more competent as a parent. Because I have three young children (5, 3, and 2 months), I would like to also recommend a new pocket-sized book that has been very helpful addressing my specific current sibling issues. Appropriately entitled "The Pocket Parent", the entire book is written for parents with normal, but often challenging preschoolers. There are hundreds of short bulleted suggestions addressing sibling issues such as: "the new baby", "comparing and labeling", "sibling rivalry", "hitting and hurting others", "biting", "bad words", "I hate you's", "listening", "power struggles", and "traveling with the kids". These two books with exactly the same discipline philosophy compliment each other--both having great examples of the exact words to try in many sibling situations.
One of the strategies suggested in both books that has really reduced my frustration level is to redefine being "fair" as "meeting each child's needs" rather than focusing on being totally "equal" at all times. This thought is very helpful because my kids seem to always keep score...and I, no matter how hard I try--will often lose! Although it doesn't come naturally, I am learning to change my behavior to address needs. For example, Sunday morning I painstakingly tried to serve the exact same pancake presentation to each of the kids--and my son whined, "Mommy, that's not fa-a-ir!" and he continued to scream that his sister's pancakes were much bigger and browner than his (...in his mind, proof that I love her more). Instead of really losing it and yelling back that he was absolutely wrong, lunging for my ruler to prove it...I PAUSED...And, before I responded, I took a deep breath (...maybe 2 deep breaths) and focused my response on solving the jealousy problem. In total control of the situation, I looked my son directly in his eyes, put my hand gently on his shoulder as I replied in a very calm voice, "Hmmmmmmm. It sounds like you're still hungry, Brian...Here are two more delicious pancakes just for you!" GREAT ADVICE...and it worked!! Bad news...It does take practice, but feels so good when your thoughtful response avoids a no-win power struggle.