Saturday, January 30, 2016

Sibling Rivalry

There was no such thing as sibling rivalry in our house until child number two came along. I'll never forget one of their first battles - it was for my attention, of course. They were both sitting on my lap and trying to shove each other off! Even at such a young age (they were about 1 and 2) they were rivals.

Then child number three appeared in the picture. Child number two was four years old at the time, and had been the baby for that long. Now this new baby was taking her place. At one point as I was nursing the newborn, she came into my room to declare, "You know, Mommy, sometimes I like the new baby and sometimes I don't!" I was caught off guard and wasn't sure what to say as she turned and stormed out, slamming the door behind her.

As the kids grew older there were arguments over toys, space, cleaning up, and what was or wasn't fair. Oh how I wished there was a secret formula to avoid such arguments but certainly working through them built character (including mine).

Getting along with family members is a crucial stage of development. All of us let our hair down when we're with family - we say things and do things we wouldn't dream of if we were with friends. Yet dealing with anger, selfishness, our words, etc. prepares us for getting along with classmates, teachers, coworkers, relatives, friends, neighbors, the cashier at the grocery store, and of course, our future families. How sad it would be if our kids could get along with friends and outsiders but never learn to get along with the people they live with.

So here is a list of Dos and Don'ts in managing sibling rivalry:
Do make the rules clear ahead of time as much as possible.
Don't encourage tattle tales.
Do get to the root of the problem... which is likely their selfishness.
Don't try to avoid arguments by separating the kids. Force them to work it out.
Do ask, "Can you think of a way to work this out so you both are happy?
Do spend time with each individual child - taking just one out on a special date with just dad or mom.

I can testify that my kids get along great now. They enjoy being together and when they're far from each other they call or text or snapchat. It's such a blessing to witness!

And now for a refashion....

I found a boring ordinary sweatshirt and a textured sweater at Goodwill for about $8.

I cut up the sides and around the corner through the sleeves of the sweatshirt. Then I cut out triangles from the sides.

Next, I used the pattern to cut out triangles from the sweater. I sewed the textured triangles pieces into the sweatshirt.

I cut rectangles to make new cuffs for my sweatshirt. Then I cut off the ribbed neckline, as well as the triangle near the neckline. I added a triangle from the sweater to the triangle-hole I made.

I added a trim piece for the bottom of the sweatshirt.

                                                                Warm and fun!