Lately, sharing and jealousy issues have drastically escalated between the siblings. Big brother has been less than cooperative and agreeable. As usual, I started thinking about proactive solutions or help them find their own solutions.
Sibling rivalry, as I have accepted, is inevitable. My daughter is more interactive and she is trying to do everything her big brother does. This brought back the jealousy issue that we’ve assumed was shelved a while ago.
He is a very good friend to his peers at school. I know he plays well, waits for his turn or shares with other kids in his class. However, when it comes to the toys at home he labels them and assigns ownership. He refuses to let her play with some of the toys, even if he’s not playing with them at that moments, saying those are “HIS”.
What’s worse is my daughter learns by example and acts exactly the same way his brother does and declares ownership, which makes the whole sibling rivalry unbearable.
Instead of reacting to the issue, I decided to act proactively and prepare a poster for “HOUSE RULES”. Because the children do not know how to read yet, I used pictures to represent the rules.
- List your basic rules on Word document. I listed what not to do vs. what to do.
- Download pictures, photos or clip arts from the internet and print them out.
- Glue the pictures and rules on a poster paper.
- Cover the poster with adhesive contact paper to laminate and make it sturdy.
- Put it up on a wall that can easily and frequently be seen by your children.
I went over the pictures and rules twice with the kids. The rest is for them to see and think about it. Whenever an unacceptable behavior comes up, we point to the related picture, what to do vs. what not to do. The goal is to reduce the number of instances that we have to interfere.
I am planning to make a “placemat” version of this poster for “dinner table etiquette”.
Here are our “house rules“:
- We do not yell. We speak with lower voice.
- When we feel angry, we try to calm ourselves down.
- We use words, instead of hitting.
- We kindly ask for things we want, instead of pulling them from someone else’s hand without permission.
- All toys belong to the household. Everyone can play with all.
- We clean up after playing.
- We speak kindly to each other. Child to parent, parent to child.
Dinner Table Etiquette:
- We all eat together sitting down.
- We do not use utensils to make noise.
- We do not throw food on the floor.
- We clean up our dishes after the meal is finished.
- We always hold hands while crossing the street. (No exceptions)
- We always buckle our seatbelts in the car. (No exceptions)
- We use the sidewalk to walk on the street.
- We do not steer away from the parents without notice.
- We do not get out of the backyard without permission.
- We do not talk to strangers.
- We do not hit other bother our sibling in the car.
- We do not yell and disturb the driver while in the car.
- We wash our hands immediately after we come home from outside.