Parenting

How do I help my kids get along?

Monet Somerville, MS
How do I help my kids get along?

Having a new brother or sister at any age is an adjustment. Sometimes, parents think that having siblings is great, and other times they wonder what they got themselves into. We often are asked how do I get my children to get along? The answer: it depends. It depends on your children’s ages, their developmental stages, and even their personalities. But don’t worry, with the many factors that can impact the sibling relationship, all hope is not lost. There are things you can do as the parent to help encourage a positive relationship between your kids.

What parenting methods can I try?

Helping kids get along does not mean putting them both in a “get along” shirt when they argue. It means teaching skills to help them learn how to communicate and respect one another. First, model the behaviors that you want to see. If you do not want your kids yelling at each other, do not yell at your kids. Second, teach your children about values that are important to your family. For instance, if supporting one another is an important value for your family, teach that through games, daily interactions, and verbal reminders. Finally, have “special time” with each child. This can be anything you both enjoy. If you don’t have any ideas about an activity, ask your child what they would like to do. One suggestion from a Parent Educator at The Parenting Center is to take that child out to sit down restaurant and enjoy a meal together. The only requirement is that your focus is 100 percent on the child you are with. No phones, no siblings, and hopefully no other distractions.

Having siblings can be hard for the kids, as well as the parents. However, modeling the behaviors you want to see, making sure that family values are clearly communicated, and spending quality time with each child independently can help ease some of the sibling squabbles that may occur.

                                                                                                                                                                                        

Monet Somerville, MS
Parent Educator
Monet received her Bachelor’s of Arts in Psychology from North Carolina Wesleyan College. She then went on to receive her Master’s in Science in Psychology with a Concentration in Child and Adolescent Development from Capella University. She is currently pursuing her PhD in Developmental Psychology with a Concentration in Child and Adolescent Development. Monet is also a licensed Trust Based Relational Intervention Practitioner.

Prior to working to The Parenting Center, Monet worked as a Case Manager in a residential facility for adolescent girls who were in foster care but were unable to be placed in a foster home. She also taught foster parents about child development and the impacts that positive parenting can make on a child.