Teaching children to be kind to their siblings

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Post  Sun, Aug 14 2005, 6:23 pm
Hi everyone,
I am trying to teach the children in my family to work on being kind to their siblings. It's become a vicious circle that just goes on and on. To me it is appalling the way things go in our home sometimes, my 11 year-old speaks in an impatient tone of voice to her 8 year-old brother and then he in turn is mean to his 5 year-old brother who is nasty to the next one (3). I've tried more than once to speak in calm, patient tones that we must learn to be nicer to each other and that the younger ones imitate how we act and look up to the older ones and that Ahavas Yisroel begins in the home and we need to learn to be more sensitive to our family relations etc. I've also tried different methods of getting the message across like having them work out with each other why it bothers one when the other is not nice to them and how they need to learn to talk about their feelings with each other instead of fight, or to have each child report to me when they themselves have remained in control and they overcame their desire to yell at the other sibling, but it usually breaks down and they just end up telling on the other child. It seems they have such a difficult time getting along and I am exhausted just being the mediator all the time. Then I feel guilty when I tell them I can't take it anymore and don't want to hear it anymore. Sometimes I feel like it's just because I have so many kids that they are all vying for attention that they want but have to share. And other times I know it's probably because they see how I yell so much myself. And although I consider my marriage as happy, I know that often my husband and I are not the kindest to each other. I grew up in a home where we all enjoyed being with each other especially now as adults and I want and hope that my kids will have that as well. They just seem to always fight now!
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Post  Mon, Aug 15 2005, 1:38 pm
Hi. Everyone has this problem. I just recently started this system which is working a bit. I actually read about a variation of it on this board. We have a jar into which I put marbles when anyone is playing nicely or sharing, etc. with anyone else. I take out marbles when they are mean or teasing, etc. When the jar is full, we will all go to ice cream or pizza shop. It is working somewhat and I am yelling and punishing much less for fighting. I don't know how old your kids are. Mine are 7,4 and 2
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Post  Mon, Aug 15 2005, 5:30 pm
that does sound like a good idea, goodness knows we have enough marbles in this house, I'm sure my son will let us use them for a fun purpose like this. I had heard of a different variation of that theme but it petered out - probably because I lost steam. it was that we have a bowl or jar of toffees of candies and each time one of the children speaks or acts nicely to another he gets a candy, but only if the other child judges that he was treated nicely by the sibling. it was working but was a little hard for little kids.
my kids are 11, 9, 5, 3 & 5 months
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