Peaceful Parent, Happy Siblings: How to Stop the Fighting and Raise Friends for Life

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9780399168451: Peaceful Parent, Happy Siblings: How to Stop the Fighting and Raise Friends for Life

Popular parenting expert Dr. Laura Markham, author of PEACEFUL PARENTS, HAPPY SIBLINGS, has garnered a large and loyal readership around the world, thanks to her simple, insightful approach that values the emotional bond between parent and child. As any parent of more than one child knows, though, it’s challenging for even the most engaged parent to maintain harmony and a strong connection when competition, tempers, and irritation run high.
 
In this highly anticipated guide, Dr. Markham presents simple yet powerful ways to cut through the squabbling and foster a loving, supportive bond between siblings, while giving each child the vital connection that he or she needs.

PEACEFUL PARENT, HAPPY SIBLINGS includes hands-on, research-based advice on:
 

  • Creating deep connections with each one of your children, so that each truly believes that you couldn’t possibly love anyone else more.

  • Fostering a loving family culture that encourages laughter and minimizes fighting

  • Teaching your children healthy emotional self-management and conflict resolution skills—so that they can work things out with each other, get their own needs met and respect the needs of others

  • Helping your kids forge a close lifelong sibling bond—as well as the relationship skills they will need for a life of healthy friendships, work relationships, and eventually their own family bonds.

Le informazioni nella sezione "Riassunto" possono far riferimento a edizioni diverse di questo titolo.

About the Author:

Dr. Laura Markham is the author of Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids: How To Stop Yelling and Start Connecting, published by Perigee in November 2012. 


Dr. Markham earned her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at Columbia University in New York.  Her clinical practice is entirely devoted to coaching parents, with clients from New York to Australia (via Skype).  She monitors the pulse of parents’ needs through her very active social network, including her own web site, AhaParenting.com. She speaks frequently with reporters for press as diverse as CNN and Parents Magazine and makes regular TV appearances. Dr. Markham lives in Park Slope, Brooklyn, with her family—and considers her kids – a daughter graduating from high school and a son graduating from an Ivy League university—to be proof that her parenting approach produces responsible, self-disciplined, considerate and happy kids who achieve in the world and stay deeply connected to their parents.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

“It’s Not Fair!”
 
It drives parents crazy. You do your best to be fair, but your children insist on competing over everything! Why? 
 
·      A sense of fairness is innate. Research shows that even babies have some concept of parity. It seems to be one of the human mind’s built‑in survival mechanisms to help us live in groups. 
 
·      They desperately want to know that you love them more than anyone else, so their survival is ensured. This is genetically programmed. Their genes want to know whom you would save if a tiger came marauding. If you love their sibling more, they’re toast.
 
·      Children aren’t so different from adults. The entire legal profession is based on the human desire to be treated fairly. The problem isn’t that your children want fairness. It’s that they think you’re supposed to be Solomon and dole it out, but there’s no way both children will feel fairly treated by any solution any parent can devise. That’s not just because we’re fallible humans, but because children in search of fairness are motivated by fear, which is always irrational. Back to the previous point: They need proof the sibling isn’t being favored, to ensure their survival.
 
So how can you deal with the whole concept of fairness without going crazy, and in a way that helps your children feel more secure and less competitive?
 
1.     Empathize. Your child has big feelings about this issue. After all, at an unconscious level this is about her survival. Trying to argue your child out of her feelings won’t work. Acknowledging them will help her feel understood, which means she can stop fighting. This is the most important thing you can do to help your child with her feeling that things aren’t fair.
 
Instead of arguing: “Of course you get to go first sometimes, don’t exaggerate!”
 
Empathize: “It feels like you never get to go first, huh?”
 
Instead of explaining: “He’s older, so he gets to stay up later.”
 
Empathize: “You wish you could stay up later . . . It’s hard to stop playing and get ready for bed . . . I bet when you’re eight like your brother, you’ll love staying up later.”
 
Notice you aren’t agreeing. You might even be pretty sure that she went first last night. You’re showing her you understand how she feels, nothing more, and nothing less. If you think back to times when you’ve felt understood, you will understand just how great a gift this is.
 
2.     Focus on what each child wants rather than getting hooked when they compare or compete. When your children accuse you of favoring their sibling, you know intuitively that this is a serious accusation. On some level, they’re saying you don’t have enough love and protection for them, since you’re using it up on their sister. Understandably, you can get hooked and argue about who got what. But that’s a battle you’ll never win. Next time:
 
Instead of arguing: “I did not give him more—see, you have the same amount!”
 
Acknowledge the need your child is expressing without reference to his sibling, and reassure him that there’s always more than enough for everyone: “It sounds like you’re ready for more noodles. Show me how much you want and I’ll dish them out for you.”
 
What if there aren’t any more noodles, or you aren’t about to give them seconds on dessert? In other words, your child thinks she’s been treated unfairly, and you can’t (or won’t) make it better by giving her what she thinks she deserves to make things fair? Address the perceived unfairness symbolically, by showering your child with love. That’s what she’s actually worried about, even if she doesn’t know it. So you might say something like: “Oh, no! His piece was bigger? I can’t believe it—this is terrible! Here I sat, making sure the two pieces were exactly the same, and you’re telling me my splitting skills are slipping? You know what that means. If your piece was even hundredth smaller, that means I need to make it up to you—with a hundred hugs and kisses!” You grab her and fill her up with love. You aren’t teasing her, or belittling her need. You’re actually meeting her real need—to be as important to you as her brother. You’re letting her know that there’s always more than enough love for her, no matter what her brother gets. And the laughter helps her work through any fears that were triggered by thinking that you secretly prefer her brother.
 
3.     Give material possessions based on need; be sure love is limitless. If one child has outgrown her sneakers and the other hasn’t, explain to all the kids that today it’s Asia’s turn for new sneakers, and Amira will get hers when she outgrows her current pair. Be alert to help Amira past her envy when Asia struts in: “It can be hard to watch your sister get something new when you didn’t . . . Don’t worry, when you need shoes, you’ll get them, too. You know that no matter what your sister gets, there’s always enough for you.” Then give her a huge hug. What she really needs is reassurance that you love her as much as her sister.
 
4.     Don’t be afraid to treat children differently. Interestingly, several studies in which children were interviewed about how parents treat them and their siblings have found that kids don’t mind being treated differently, if they think the outcome is fair.1 They may give you a hard time because their brother stays up later, but they do understand that an older child gets more privileges and more responsibilities. In fact, you might want to talk about this with each child before his birthday. What new responsibility does he think he’s ready for?
 
5.     Fill each child’s cup. The reason children compete is to ensure their survival in the face of danger and scarce resources. So your job as the parent is to love each child so he never needs to wonder if you might love his sibling more. That would be impossible, since he knows your love for him is limitless. In practice, that means:
 
·      You seek him out for hugs and smiles, to look at the fireflies together out the window at dusk, and just to tell him you’re so glad you’re his mother.  
 
·      When he needs you, you show up. If your hands are full, you apologize and tell him when you’ll be able to tend to him; then keep your promise.
 
·      You surprise him with little notes, favors, and activities. This takes some mental energy, which as a parent can be in short supply. One solution is to keep little notes on your to‑do list, so that every week you do one small special thing for each child.
 
·      You make time for Special Time and the other preventive maintenance practices. Sometimes you take each child, one at a time, for a special adventure on a Saturday afternoon. If they fight about who goes on the first Saturday, while the other kids have to wait until subsequent weeks, you can “sweeten the deal” for the ones who have to wait by giving them longer adventures.

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Descrizione libro TarcherPerigee, United States, 2015. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Popular parenting expert Dr. Laura Markham, author of PEACEFUL PARENTS, HAPPY SIBLINGS, has garnered a large and loyal readership around the world, thanks to her simple, insightful approach that values the emotional bond between parent and child. As any parent of more than one child knows, though, it s challenging for even the most engaged parent to maintain harmony and a strong connection when competition, tempers, and irritation run high. In this highly anticipated guide, Dr. Markham presents simple yet powerful ways to cut through the squabbling and foster a loving, supportive bond between siblings, while giving each child the vital connection that he or she needs. PEACEFUL PARENT, HAPPY SIBLINGS includes hands-on, research-based advice on: Creating deep connections with each one of your children, so that each truly believes that you couldn t possibly love anyone else more. Fostering a loving family culture that encourages laughter and minimizes fighting Teaching your children healthy emotional self-management and conflict resolution skills--so that they can work things out with each other, get their own needs met and respect the needs of others Helping your kids forge a close lifelong sibling bond--as well as the relationship skills they will need for a life of healthy friendships, work relationships, and eventually their own family bonds. Codice libro della libreria ABZ9780399168451

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Descrizione libro TarcherPerigee, United States, 2015. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Popular parenting expert Dr. Laura Markham, author of PEACEFUL PARENTS, HAPPY SIBLINGS, has garnered a large and loyal readership around the world, thanks to her simple, insightful approach that values the emotional bond between parent and child. As any parent of more than one child knows, though, it s challenging for even the most engaged parent to maintain harmony and a strong connection when competition, tempers, and irritation run high. In this highly anticipated guide, Dr. Markham presents simple yet powerful ways to cut through the squabbling and foster a loving, supportive bond between siblings, while giving each child the vital connection that he or she needs. PEACEFUL PARENT, HAPPY SIBLINGS includes hands-on, research-based advice on: Creating deep connections with each one of your children, so that each truly believes that you couldn t possibly love anyone else more. Fostering a loving family culture that encourages laughter and minimizes fighting Teaching your children healthy emotional self-management and conflict resolution skills--so that they can work things out with each other, get their own needs met and respect the needs of others Helping your kids forge a close lifelong sibling bond--as well as the relationship skills they will need for a life of healthy friendships, work relationships, and eventually their own family bonds. Codice libro della libreria ABZ9780399168451

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