Drug testing

Sibling Rivalry: The Magic Trick That Stops It Instantly

It's a familiar scene: Kids screaming at each other, complaining that, "He got a bigger piece of pie," or "She got to stay up an hour later last night."

When sibling rivalry rears its ugly head, what do you do?

Try to reason with the kids? Scream, threaten or punish them? Ignore it and run for cover?

None of these methods is very effective for very long.

But I've discovered a tactic that works every time. It really is guaranteed to end sibling battles, almost instantaneously. The only downside is it requires a bit of patience on your part.

The trick is understanding that it doesn't matter what the kids are arguing about, the real battle is for your attention.

Really. They could be screaming at the top of their lungs over who gets to play with a certain toy. They could be red-faced and foaming at the mouth over who got to sit in the favorite chair. It doesn't matter what they're arguing about. What they're really saying is, "Mom, I want more of your attention. I want to know you love me."

Understand this, and you're 80 percent of the way to resolving all sibling battles.

So here's how to resolve the battles: Try to catch them before the argument escalates to the point where one or both kids need to be reprimanded.

If you can't do that, wait for the next time. There always is a next time, isn't there?

Next, make it clear that you aren't taking sides.

Now try to discern which child is feeling the need for attention most. It will typically be the child who started it, though that's not always easy to figure out.

Turn to that child first and say, "Look, I can see you're upset. I'm wondering if maybe you need some more attention from me. Can I give you a hug?" (Or rub your back or throw the football around or whatever you do when you give your kids attention.)

When that child is calm, repeat with the other child(ren).

Your goal is to let your kids know that:

1) You understand they need your attention; and

2) You accept them; and

3) You aren't going to judge them for needing or wanting your love.

Depending on how old the kids are and how long the rivalry has lasted, you may hear a little sarcasm. But I promise you, there's a soft vulnerability underneath those barbs. If you can ignore the sarcasm and keep offering more attention, you'll be amazed how quickly the arguments disappear.

Giving them attention doesn't mean you have to be at their beck and call for the rest of the day. It may mean you give them hugs and kisses. It may mean sitting and talking with them. Or it may just mean sitting quietly and playing a game of their choice for a few minutes.

When They Both Want Your Attention at Once

It helps if you warn them that you'll have to take turns giving each child individual attention. I handle this in a really straightforward way.

I just say something like, "Listen, I can see you both want my attention now. And honestly, you both deserve it. (That's the best line I've come up with yet!)

I really want to give both of you the attention you deserve, but I'm only human. So how about if I sit over here and talk with you first, then I'll play a game with you...and so on."

This also works really well when there's a new baby in the house. Obviously, if you're in the middle of feeding, changing or bathing the baby, you can't give the older one(s) the attention they want.

So just say as sympathetically as possible, "You know what? I bet you want a hug right now, don't you?" Or, "Could you use some mommy time?" Or, "Does it seem to you like the baby is getting all my attention?"

Then say, "You deserve my attention, too. And I want to give it to you. Right now, I can't because I have to feed the baby. But as soon as I'm finished I'm going to...[give you a great big hug, play Candy Land with you, etc.]

Is This Really Guaranteed to Work?

Yes, but, of course, you have to put it into practice.

I am the first to admit that when I'm tired, hungry, cranky or PMSish (or worse, postpartumish!), I just can't bother with this trick. I mean, geez, even Barney would get PMS if he were a woman (and not a make-believe character)! So don't expect the battles to stop instantaneously and never arise again.

Plus, when the kids are tired and cranky, it doesn't matter how much attention you give them, they're not going to respond to anything but food and sleep. Understand that, too.

The reason this trick is guaranteed to work because it's based on understanding that the root of all sibling rivalry is a battle for your attention. Even if you do nothing other than understand that, and accept that all kids need attention (probably more than you have to give), you're 80% of the way there.

Stephanie Gallagher is the author of several parenting books and creator of "Mommy Merry Go Round," the hilarious new online movie that's taking the motherhood community by storm! See it today at http://www.mommymerrygoround.com

In The News:

During their first sit-down, President Trump and Brazil’s new far-right leader, President Jair Bolsonaro, arranged to sign several bilateral agreements, including one that lets the United States use Brazil’s Alcantara Aerospace Launch Base for satellites.
Last week, marine experts at Seaside Aquarium fielded a call about a bizarre sea creature found buried in the sand at a beach in Long Beach, Washington.
Two Bronze Age women — one likely a teenage priestess — probably didn't travel far and wide across Europe, as previous research suggested, but instead were real homebodies who likely never left what is now modern-day Denmark, a new study finds.
It's the moment warm weather fans have been waiting for: the first day of spring has officially arrived in the Northern Hemisphere.
Dinosaurs and alligators may both be reptiles, but the similarities were thought to be few and far between. Dinosaurs are commonly thought to have been warm-blooded, while alligators are cold-blooded, meaning they can not regulate their own body temperatures. Now, a new study suggests that both dinosaurs and animals have more in common than previously thought – their ability to hear.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, while selling her "Green New Deal", said that the world will end in 12 years if nothing is done to address climate change.
Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton repeated a long-held conspiracy theory during a visit to NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston last week.  
For some creatures, the magnetic field that hugs our planet serves as a compass for navigation or orientation.
An astronomer at Columbia University has a new guess about how hypothetical alien civilizations might be invisibly navigating our galaxy: Firing lasers at binary black holes (twin black holes that orbit each other).
Skygazers are set for a treat this week when the third and final supermoon of the year occurs.

What Are Reasonable Expectations of a Child?

To have reasonable expectations of our children is an important... Read More

Top 10 Mistakes by New and Expectant Dads

From criticizing a spouse, to claming up about one's own... Read More

Playground Pettiness

Recently I took my two children to a popular new... Read More

Mothers Day Tribute

As Mother's Day approaches I would like to give a... Read More

The Importance of Fathers

There is no doubt that mothers play an all-important leading... Read More

What Should I Know About Strattera for ADHD?

Strattera came out around January of 2003, and is becoming... Read More

Parenting Your Teenager: What Teens Say About Parents

What's hard for teenagersHaving people who don't understand you trying... Read More

Family Meetings Are Now On The Agenda

"Not another meeting!"That tends to be the reaction from many... Read More

The Symtoms Of Meningitis And Septicaemia

Meningitis is an inflammation of the membranes around the brain... Read More

Who Are Your Kids Talking To Online?

Studies have shown that:1 out of 4 children were sent... Read More

Uses for Dirty Diapers

As the father of a toddler, I am an expert... Read More

Celebrating Mom: How To Make Every Day Her Special Day!

Bearers of life, wipers of noses, givers of unconditional love... Read More

Stress is No Kiddy Matter

Kids today no longer live the kind of privileged lives... Read More

Are You Addicted to Your Children?

Is it possible to be using our children addictively?Anything that... Read More

Parenting Your Teenager: The Bottom Line Issues

Q. When you consult with a family with teens, what... Read More

What the Matter Is

When my oldest boy was really young, he tickled my... Read More

Give Your Child the Gift of Self-Esteem

Much has been said about the "gifted child" but in... Read More

Advocating for Your Child with LD

Advocate: you've probably heard the term before. But what does... Read More

The Parent Teen Relationship: How Effective is Yours?

It was the homework that did it. Each night became... Read More

The ABCs of Raising Twins

As a mother of two sets of fraternal boy/girl twins,... Read More

On Raising a Child with Disabilities: Sara & the Nail Salon

Sara loves pampering. Haircuts, facials, manicures, and makeup bring smiles,... Read More

Help! My Kids Dont Listen to Me

Does this sound familiar? Have your kids not listened to... Read More

Homeschooling --- A Superior Education For Your Child

Home-schooling provides children with a superior education. Parents can quickly... Read More

The Most Innovative New Approach for ADHD, a Natural Remedy

What's new and effective in the treatment of Attention problems?... Read More

What Might Surprise You About Childhood Obesity

The formula is pretty straightforward: energy in/energy out. This is... Read More

street lighting fixtures street light savings Pete's produce ..