Avoid being the cop. Here’s the plan:
1. Lay out the rules. Give them a copy. Make them sign it. It’s a contract.
2. NO physical fighting…absolutely none. There are laws about sibling abuse. Everyone who is involved gets consequences, but the victim, maybe less so, depending on the circumstances.
2. So what about “skirmishes”? Stop what you are doing, sit them down and problem-solve it. Why? Because when they realize you're going to make them responsible, they're not going to want to hear all that "blah-blah-blah" from you. Talking with you is more noxious than working it out with their brother/sister. As well, you've stopped the escalation and no kid likes to have their "forward motion" slowed down.
3. NO tattling. If they tattle to you, sit them down, review the ways in which the problem can be solved. This part will take less time as you move through the process because they'll want to avoid the discussions!
When you problem-solve, don’t overtalk. Get right to it. Every week, give some feedback as to their progress. It will take about a month to see results. Be consistent or you’re doomed to referee your own children for a lifetime.
Just do the best you can, Claudia
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