Keeping The Peace

June 13, 2012

Many of my fellow mom friends are stressed out that their second and third kids have now enter toddler territory while the first born is still rather young, not quite a big kid however an older toddler. The arguments are intense and these moms are stressed out. My sisters and I are 2 years apart and I recall our fights vividly. We would love each- other one minute and want to kill each-other the next. I do feel this is part of growing up and our children will grow out it, hopefully! Meanwhile here are some tips on how to handle the tense episodes that happen when you have a full house of children under 5!


Spats over stuff

When your baby becomes a toddler, no matter what the ages of her big sibs, chances are they won’t want their runny-nosed, grubby-handed sis to touch their stuff. Minimize the struggles by:

Keeping dangerous and breakable items, such as older siblings’ pencil sharpeners and handheld video games, out of your toddler’s reach.

Putting toys that belong to siblings in separate toy boxes, closets, high shelves, or other containers.

Keeping your toddler out of her older siblings’ rooms whenever possible, even if it means having them close the door.

Letting the kid who touched it first play with it first for a set amount of time before turning it over. Try using a timer — it may help train your toddler not to stand next to the sib with the coveted item, stamping her feet and screeching.

He started it!

You’re going to hear this one for a long time. You turn around as one kid clocks the other, so you punish him, and then he shouts it isn’t fair because your toddler started it. Nip it in the bud by:

Having zero tolerance for pushing, hitting, and so on, even if it’s the little one smacking the big one. Sternly, but calmly, warn the offender not to hit, and remove him from the room for a short time-out.

Not refereeing. Unless things are getting so heated that hitting might soon follow, stay out of your kids’ conflicts and see if they can work things out for themselves. If you need to step in, there’s no point in getting to the bottom of who did what (unless someone has clearly injured someone else). Just break it up and move on. If you always jump in to referee, you’ll find yourself the star of your very own Judge Judy show.

Splitting them up. Remember what your mom told you: “If you can’t play nicely, you can’t play at all.”

Via Excerpted from Stop Second-Guessing Yourself—The Toddler Years: A Field-Tested Guide to Confident Parentingby Jen Singer. Copyright © 2009 by Jen Singer. Used with the permission of the publisher, Health Communications, Inc., All rights reserved.

Photo: Collect & Cast