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2kids asks:
Q:

How can I get my son and daughter to get along?

My problem has to do with my 7 year old daugther and 2 1/2 year old son.  He likes to do nasty things to her but I always deal with him.  The problem is that she doesn't act like he's only 2 1/2.  And I fing it hard to find consequences that work with him.  There are logical consequences but usually, the only thing that works for him is sitting on his bed.  But using the bedroom is a bad idea because I don't want him to not like going to bed.  As for my daugther, she axagerates the situations and often adds little lies.  I don't like not believing her but sometimes I just can't.  In the evening, I don't have the patience for this stupid behaviour and say things, to her, that I regret afterwards.   It seems she does things to get her brother in trouble, thinking I don't know what sh's doing and it just gets me more frustrated.  I need ideas, please.  Thank you.     Lisa
In Topics: Discipline and behavior challenges
> 60 days ago

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Expert

Boys Town National Hotline
Apr 12, 2008
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What the Expert Says:

It sounds like you are very frustrated in dealing with your kids not getting along with each other.  Parents often find that whatever their children€™s age difference, sibling rivalry can be tiring!  One of the first things you may want to ask yourself is, €œWhy?€"  Why do they feel the need to €œpick€" at each other?  Frequently there is some sort of jealousy or competition between siblings that is very common.  There can also be a power struggle for your attention, even if it is for negative behavior.

Here are some basic tips that you might want to try proactively to set them up for positive interactions:
1. Make sure that you are giving positive messages and hugs to both children equally no matter what their age.  Never compare your children to each other in front of them.
2. If you notice that their behavior toward each other is worse at night when you are the most tired, you may want to pour on positive attention to both of them with hugs, praise, etc. right away when you get them home. If you give them some positive attention up front, it could prevent the negative behaviors from starting.  
3.  Do something individual with each child and make sure that you are unable to be interrupted by the other one.  Avoid distractions, relax and enjoy your kids as individuals.
4. As a consequence for not being nice to their sibling, you might want to try having them do something nice for them, compliment them, or do an activity together.  
5.  Catch them being good--praise them when they are getting along and being nice to each other.
6. As the older sibling, you may ask your daughter to occasionally to help the younger one with a task so they are put in a helping role rather than just picking on them.

Hopefully some of these ideas help.  Sometimes it is the little things that get you through the more stressful times!

Boys Town National Hotline an Education.com partner
€“ 1-800-448-3000 / www.boystown.org


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