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My kids make bad deals with each other, then fight over them. How do I stop it?

My ten-year-old daughter has a habit of making ridiculous bribes so that her little brother will cave into her demands.

If she wants, say, the rest of his bag of chips, she'll plead, "Josh. Pleeeeeeeeze! Come on! I'll give you my Icebat Ugly Doll!''

Josh, who is six, usually falls for it. And usually, Janice hands over the toy. For about an hour. Then, we hear shrieks and sobs as they fight over the terms of the deal.

Janice's offers are always outsized, while the favors she wants are small. If he throws her napkin away, she'll swear to do anything he wants for the rest of the day, only to renege ten minutes later.

Sometimes, Josh will eye her suspiciously and refuse the offers. Sometimes, she'll promise something she wants to unload, like a duplicate fast food Pokemon toy, and there won't be a problem.

But it never lasts for long. We've tried banning the "trades,'' then, when that didn't work, letting them deal with the consequences.

We've encouraged Janice to scale back on the extravagent promises and warned Josh that if his sister offers him $100 dollars for his glow-in-the dark rubber bracelet, she's probably not going to fork it over.

I've also tried reciting scripts from parenting books..

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sibling rivalry has been in existence in families for ages. But that doesn't mean that you are powerless and cannot do anything with it.

If you see that they are arguing or fighting over something, step in as a parent and as a figure of authority and help resolve the problem. It counts a lot if you still remain calm and ask what's going on. If you find a reasonable solution for it, go ahead and explain it to the children. You can stress to them that 'giving in' for the sake of the other is not a sign of weakness but a sign of courage. Well, the situations may vary and each one may require its own solution. But overall, it's important for you as a parent to teach your children "VALUES" and "GOOD CONDUCT". If you strongly believe in these, I think that their relationships with one another will build up to be a better one.

As a piece of advice- Be patient with them and don't give-up! Your kids need a lot of guidance and supervision from you. Even if others say that sibling rivalry is incurable and just let it be, well, I don't believe in this. If there is a way, there is a definite solution.