The National Parenting Center

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When To Intervene In Sibling Fights

The degree to which you interfere in kid’s squabbles depends a great deal on their ages. The younger they are the more likely you’ll probably find yourself soothing and separating.

Little kids need help in learning how to take turns and make compromises. As they get older they’re better able to take care of themselves, and it’s best not to play referee if you can avoid it. Try to let them settle their own differences. If you do have to step in, be careful not to concern yourself about who’s wrong and who’s right. Still here’s some successful ground rules that might work for you:

• Any fought-over object will be put away for 24 hours or the timer will be set (so many minutes for one child, so many minutes for the other).

• One child divides the snack, the other chooses his or her portion first.

• Whoever says, “me first” is automatically last.

• The child who makes fun of another’s punishment gets the same.

• Fighting in the car will result in the car being pulled over to the side of the road and parked until quiet is restored.

• And finally, let your kids know that tattletales will fall on deaf ears.

Vicki Lansky’s practical, common sense approach to parenting is familiar to millions throughout the world. Vicki’s first book, Feed Me, I’m Yours, published in 1974, and still one of the most popular baby/toddler food cookbooks in the country, was followed by The Taming of the C.A.N.D.Y. Monster, a #1 New York Times bestseller. Her other titles include: Toilet Training, Birthday Parties Best Party Tips & Ideas For Ages 1-8, Dear Babysitter Handbook, Welcoming Your Second Baby, Getting Your Child to Sleep … and Back to Sleep, Trouble-free Travel with Children, Baby Proofing Basics and Games Babies Play From Birth to Twelve Months, Koko Bear’s New Potty, A New Baby at Koko Bear’s House, Koko Bear and the New Babysitter, and Koko Bear’s Big Earache. Vicki Lansky’s Divorce Book for Parents: Helping Children Cope with Divorce and Its Aftermath


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