How to Keep the Peace Between Kids Who Share a Room
Separating the Room
Try a room divider.Keep conflicts due to lack of personal space and privacy at a minimum by dividing the room evenly. Room dividers are a great way to divide up a space for your kids. You can either use a traditional room divider, or you can turn other pieces of furniture into a room divider. For example, use a tall bookshelf or wardrobe to divide a room.
Paint the room different color schemes.This strategy is also a great way to divide a small room. When deciding how to decorate your children's bedroom, ask for their input. By involving them in the process, you may be able further reduce the likelihood of conflict and rivalry between your children.
- Alternatively, you can use different patterned wallpaper to visually separate a room. For example, one side of the room can have striped wallpaper while the other has polka dotted wallpaper.
Setting Up Rules and Guidelines
Teach your children to ask nicely before borrowing.One way to avoid conflicts over toys and possessions is to make rules about borrowing possessions. Teach your children to ask each other nicely if they can use their sibling’s toys or possessions before borrowing them. Reinforce the idea that even if the sibling isn’t around, they still need to ask the parent for permission before using the toy.
Use a timer.If your kids both want to play with the same toy, set up a schedule for how long each child can play with the toy. Make sure the amount of time is equal. Also, have guidelines for deciding who gets to play with the toy first.
- For example, if the toy is a personal belonging, then the owner has priority. If the toy is neutral, then teach your children how to be fair by flipping a coin to see who gets to play with the toy first.
Make beds off-limits.Your children’s beds are their most private spaces when sharing a room. Make a rule that states that explicit permission from the sibling must be granted before the other child sits or lies on their bed. This will make your children feel like they have control over their own personal space, and hopefully reduce conflicts.
Create noise, light, and bedtime guidelines.Noise, light, and having different bedtimes can also create potential conflicts between siblings. Therefore, make sure to include guidelines that designate times for quiet and play to meet each child's needs.
- For example, designate an hour of quiet time where noise and lights are kept at a minimum in order to do homework or take a nap.
- If your children have a two or three year age gap, do not make them go to bed at the same time. Instead, designate separate, but developmentally appropriate, bedtimes for each child.
Involve the children in setting up the rules.By involving your children in making the rules, they will have a personal investment in them. This way, they are more likely to remember and follow them, as well as enforce the rules themselves.
- Once you and your children have settled on a few simple rules, formally type them up and print them on a piece of paper. Hang them up in their bedroom as a reminder.
- Make the rules as simple and positive as possible, for example, “Ask nicely before borrowing a toy” and “Treat other people’s possessions with respect and care.”
Set up consequences.All rules must have consequences if they are broken. Consequences help reinforce the rules and standards. Make sure to follow through each time one of your children breaks a rule. Like with rules, you and your children can also create and agree on the appropriate consequences for each rule.
Teaching Conflict Resolution
Teach them to express their feelings.Help your children find the words to express their feelings instead of yelling at one another or calling each other names. To help them express their feelings, you can set up an emotion board.
- Whenever a conflict is erupting, have them go to the emotion board and point out which face reflects how they are feeling.
- Teach them to explain why they feel that way, for example, “I feel angry because he took my toy without asking first.”
Encourage them to work out their conflicts.Unless the conflict becomes physically or emotionally violent, try not to intervene. However, you should monitor the conflict to see if they can work it out on their own. If they try to involve you, remind them that because they are responsible for creating the conflict, they are also responsible for resolving the conflict. Praise and reward your children if they resolve the conflict on their own.
- If you see that one of your children is afraid of or avoiding the other sibling, and always the victim, then you may need to intervene to prevent the conflict from becoming emotionally violent.
- Try to encourage win-win situations where each child gains something.
- If your children are young, for example toddlers, then you will probably need to intervene to help resolve the conflict.
Intervene.If a conflict becomes violent, you must stop the fight immediately and separate the children. Once your children have calmed down, bring them back together to talk about what happened. Let them know that violence is not a valid solution and will not be tolerated under any circumstances.
- For example, “Conflicts are inevitable and natural, but I will not tolerate physical or emotional violence as a solution. There are better ways to resolve a conflict, and both of you will be punished if violence occurs.”
Seek professional help.If fights become violent on a regular basis, and you cannot find a way to stop them, then you might need to seek professional help from a child or behavioral therapist. Also, contact a professional if one sibling is frightened by the other sibling, won’t fight back, and is always the victim. These are signs of sibling abuse.
Video: Kids and Conflict: Teaching kids to keep the peace
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Date: 08.12.2018, 02:06 / Views: 74584