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Sibling Love: How To Keep The Peace At Home

Get tips for siblings during playtime from parents who have figured out how to keep the peace between siblings.
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How do you make sure your toddler and older kid play nice? These peacekeepers (a.k.a. parents) have figured out ways to help.

Hug it out. "I say, ‘Give a hug and a kiss,’ instead of ‘No, don’t do that,’ when my kids fight or misbehave. Both kids end up laughing and forgetting about what made them so upset in the first place. Sometimes the hugging leads to both boys on their backs wrestling and one child upset, but we just hug that out, too!"
—Lauren Margulies, mom of two, Raleigh, North Carolina

Let them have their turf. "I give each of my kids a ‘No Share Bucket’ that they can fill with a select number of toys that they don’t have to share that day. If there is any bickering over an item, they each lose a toy from their coveted bucket."
—Meredith Walt, mom of two, Coconut Creek, Florida

Always apologize. "When my three girls hit or hurt each other, I give them a timeout and have them apologize and say why what they did wasn’t nice. Then I explain how our feelings can get hurt, in addition to our bodies. After several months, we are starting to see our efforts paying off. Our girls respect each other more, and if they don’t, they know there will be consequences."

—Amy Shoaff, mom of three, Westchester, California

Bribe them (gasp)! "Sometimes, I separate the kids or find a distraction. In an emergency, I resort to bribery. Recently, I had to drive three-plus hours with the kids, without my husband, to a lake weekend at a friend’s cabin. We were in a rental car that put them in one row together, and they were used to being spread apart in a minivan. That alone was causing me stress. Before things got really bad, I decided to offer them each a quarter for every half-hour they behaved themselves. They earned it, with the exception of one half hour. It was the best road trip I’ve ever had with my kids!"
—Brigitte Malone, mom of three, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Do time-outs for two. "I've recently started to implement the dual timeout: one for the kid who did the wrong, and one for the kid who tattled. I decided to try this when I realized that the one who hit or acted out wasn't always the one at fault; someone else was the instigator. This method is encouraging my kids to work things out on their own. Meanwhile, while they’re in timeout, I get to have a couple gulps of my coffee. If I'm lucky, it’s only lukewarm and not cold!"
—Sue Gilmor, mom of two, San Diego, California

An article from the HUGGIES® Brand

  • Rated 0 out of 5 by 8reviewers.
    Rated 0 out of 5 by I really like the idea of "time-out for two". We are thinking about having a second child, but as an only-child myself, I have no idea how to deal with sibling issues. Sending both kids to time-out decreases the tattling and also shows that they have to look out for each other. Let's be honest, there usually isn't one kid that needs discipline. July 1, 2013
    Rated 0 out of 5 by These are awesome ideas. A must share with my wife!!! June 6, 2013
    Rated 0 out of 5 by This was helpful I have a 3yrold son and a 4yr old daughter. Thanks March 15, 2013
    Rated 0 out of 5 by I only have one child, but we are planning on having another one withing a few years. However this is very helpful for cousins and for our close friends who having a baby. January 27, 2013
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