My two oldest are now 7 and almost 5 and they have a full-fledged brother-sister love/hate relationship. They are regular play mates and can sometimes play for hours in the toy room, imagining, giggling, and creating new worlds together. Lately, however, it feels like all they do is fight, compete for attention, and purposefully annoy each other. And, every time they set each other off, they want to involve me as mediator.
I discovered Positive Discipline this summer and it helped our family make some small and important changes. The book suggests a new way of thinking about parenting and provides different techniques for tackling issues like fighting, sibling rivalry, getting ready on time, doing things for yourself, doing chores, and more. It’s not always easy to remember the techniques or to experiment with different things in the heat of the moment. This is where Positive Discipline Parenting Tools Cards come in.
To use the cards, you simply shuffle the all 52, keep them in a hand place, and draw one when you need some inspiration. Here are some examples of cards that have helped me address sibling rivalry and fighting in a calmer, more positive way. I’m far from perfect, but these definitely help me fight the urges to mediate fights or yell.
I think Put Kids in the Same Boat might be my favorite card. This idea has really inspired me to talk to my kids about trying to solve their own problems before coming to me. I also have stopped saying, “What did you do?” or “What did he/she do?” and instead have asked them to be “problem solvers.” It’s less about identifying a culprit or assigning blame and instead about showing faith in their ability to work things out.
Positive Time Outs or Cooling Off Space has
replaced standard time outs in our homes. The goal isn’t to punish behavior, but to instead help everyone involved calm down enough to reflect and talk things through. When we cool off (including mommy), we can usually return to what we were doing with love and find a solution.
Decide What You Will Do Instead of Engaging in Power Struggles. I’ve written about this card before, but it has really helped me set better boundaries as a parent. When I use this technique rather than making threats or counting to three, I find it is much more effective. Letting my kids know that I will serve dinner once the table is set or I will play a game after the last one is cleaned up or I will be done with bedtime in 15 minutes, no matter what, has really made a difference. I’m not cajoling or threatening, but setting clear boundaries and expectations around my behavior and letting them choose.
Here are a few other examples of cards that help in a variety of situations.
Positive Discipline has kindly offered to give one The Inquisitive Mom reader a set of Positive
Giveaway Closed Discipline Parenting Tool Cards. I love the Positive Discipline book so much, I’d also like to give a copy away to one of my readers! To enter to win the Positive Discipline Tool Cards and book, simply enter using the giveaway tools form below.