Does sibling rivalry make you as crazy as it makes me? Well, one way I’ve discovered (from Connected Families) to help provide an “increase of love” in our home is to provide two kinds of consequences for sibling rivalry: one consequence for the bad behavior, such as a time-out, and one act of kindness to help repair the hurt. If, for example, my 8-year-old is unkind to his little sister, he might have a time-out. After his time out is through, however, along with apologizing to his sister he must do something nice for her, or help her with something she needs, like putting lotion on her hands at bedtime.
So far this has resulted in more sincere apologies and those little acts of kindness have promoted stronger sibling relationships. Even little family members can find ways to make amends. Just this week my 3-year-old hit her big brother. After her time out and apology, I had her help him by hanging up his backpack on the hook where it belongs. She ended up wearing it in order to carry it to the hook and when he saw her he couldn’t help but laugh at the sight of her wearing his backpack- which was almost as big as she was! She started giggling as well, and any bad feelings were quickly forgotten. :-)