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Old 07-06-2012, 09:23 AM   #1
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Wink And the sibling rivalry begins....help!!

My dd1 is 4 and ds2 is 8 months tomorrow. Dd2 is crawling nOw and into everything---including all of her sisters toys which he seems to like way more than her own. Ha.

So, I have a question about sharing and "ownership.". I don't like the idea of "these are mine and you can't play with them." I never have. We use words like this is the family's napkins/dishes/juice/ towels because my dd1 started to get real possessive over ridiculous things when she was young. "yOu can't drink that juice Mama, it's mine." That sort of thing. We share our things with her so I don't know where this possessie ugly attitude cAme from.

So, I'm ok with dd2 having her special toys se doesn't want to be chewed on. I just tell her that she needs to have her things up or her sister will get into it and it's rude to jerk things away from her. My mother keeps telling Dd1 to "trade" with her sister---except now DD2 is older now and cries when he "trades" and I don't like the idea of devaluing what dd2 wants.

So how do I handle this in the best way?

This happened this am:

Dd1 bought an umbrella the other day. She was playing with it but left it in the floor and moved on to another toy. 10 min went by and DD2 crawls over and starts to pat and Play with the umbrella's handle. Dd1 flips out asking me to take it away. I tell her that she's happy playing with the umbrella and that I will not take it away from her because that would make her sad. She gets upset and continues to whine about her sister having the umbrella---it's hers, she doesn't want it broken---on and on. Her sister isn't being rough with it or pulling on it. She's simply patting the umbrella and touching the colors. I tell her to continue playing with the toy she has and that her sister is bigger now and can move and if she doesn't want her bothering her things she should put them up. That we will put the umbrella up when dd2 is finished. This doesn't satisfy her and she just continues to comPlain and she starts to hit the floor. I ask her to calm her body down and ask if she needs to go to her room and read some books until she is calmer---(this is what we normally do). She continues, refusing to go to her room or to calm down. I keep repeating myself "no, I will not take the umbrella away, we need to remember to out our toys away, we will Put the umbrella up when she is done.". Well, in the meantime dd2 has moved on, but im too frustrated (theres no way shes grtting the umbrella now after complaining and making a scene for the past 5 minutes) the umbrella goes in "time out" where she has to earn it back by doing chores and making good decisions .

What do I do??? I cannot have this argument every time she doesn't want her sister playing with something of hers. I wil go insane.

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Old 07-06-2012, 09:39 AM   #2
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Re: And the sibling rivalry begins....help!!

I have fabric storage bin things (got them at one step ahead, I think, it was a long time ago) they fit under the bed and have a lid. Each of my kids has one and they can have special things go in there, only what fits. None of the other kids are allowed to open the bin or touch anything inside. We have a special name for the bins and it's their job to put anything special in their bin. If it's out, it's fair game.

Some of my kids are older and when they've really gotten into about toys I've made them only touch "their" things. One of them likes to go on my Nook to read and I've said, "Oh no, that's mine and I heard you not sharing so now I'm not going to share, it doesn't feel nice, does it?" Or they'll be playing together and one will pick up the other's toy and I'll make them put it down since they decided that everyone should just play with their own things. Little more work but I've only had to do it 2 or 3 times (I do it for an entire afternoon) and they've mostly stopped. Now if they do it, it usually just takes a look to make it stop
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Old 07-06-2012, 10:01 AM   #3
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I think telling her that if she leaves something out her sister can have it is a great rule. I have never dealt with this large if an age gap though. My two oldest are 17 months apart and #3 is only 3 months. However I don't think DD1 should be allowed to refuse to go to her room and not obey you. You said you put the umbrella in time out. I use that method also and it works great. I don't let them earn that item back though. Once they loose it it is gone until tomorrow. maybe I am kind of strict. I think I would put other toys in timeout when she is whining about sister having a toy. As in, say stop whining or share nicely, one time and if she does not listen put one of her toys in time out and explain that if she cannot happily share her toys they will be taken. If she continues to wine put another in time out. I would keep going until she stops whining. The next morning she would get them back with a reminder that she must share or they will be taken. It sound harsh but it has worked for me. I never tell my kids something more than once. They do not have the choice to refuse to listen and obey with out a consequence. They learn quickly that if you repeat something x number of times before you act that they have that many times to not listen before they respond. That being said my kids do not always listen the first time but they do always have a consequence when they do not. They don't always share nicely either but they do always have their toys put up in the fridge when they dont. I don't think we can stop selfish behavior from happening but we can teach that in life we live the consequences of our actions. Sorry for the long story.
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Old 07-06-2012, 10:13 AM   #4
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Re: And the sibling rivalry begins....help!!

I have my girls (3 of them) with their own space and whatever is in that space is not for anyone to touch. The older girls (4 and almost 3) have that space on their bed. The baby (13m) has a small basket of "her" stuff. Everything else is fair game. We have a daycare here so I dont tolerate the territorial behavior at all. If it is not in your special area, anyone can play with anything. They are not to pull toys from one another or mess up each others games....but you cant leave something behind and expect no one to touch it. Create a space for your 4 year old to put her things and everything else that she leaves out, the baby can play with, doesnt matter what it is. If she cant remember to take care of her special things then I guess they arent that important to her. Any toys that are fought over get taken away and put into toy timeout. I dont referee and try to figure out who had what....pretty soon that will lead to arguments as they try to convince you that they had it first.
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Old 07-06-2012, 10:36 AM   #5
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Re: And the sibling rivalry begins....help!!

We have DD1 keep the toys she doesn't want the baby to have in her room. For example, her squinkies and barbies are not allowed out of her room. We put a gate up when she wants to play with them. As for the 3 and 5 year old...I make them share. The toys belong to everyone, and we all will take turns. For particularly volatile items, I set the microwave timer.
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Old 07-06-2012, 10:41 AM   #6
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Re: And the sibling rivalry begins....help!!

We think sharing is important, but we also think having ownership is important as well. Certain toys are for everybody and certain toys are for the individual (usually based on age appropriateness). They can share and are encouraged to share, but they don't have to. If an argument ensues because they don't want to share the offending toy is removed until later. Basically all toys in the living room are for everyone. Toys in the bedrooms are individual. If a personal toy makes it into the living room it needs to go back to the bed room or be shared. Since both kids love playing in each other rooms everything pretty much gets shared. But they don't feel threatened (I guess, don't really know how to explain it) that they are losing their toys. I love sharing, however as they grow up they have to know that people own things and you can't just pick it up because you want to without asking permission. And if permission is not given than you deal with it. We ask permission for toys and we also ask permission for sharing food and drinks. I ask them and they ask me.
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Old 07-06-2012, 11:11 AM   #7
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Re: And the sibling rivalry begins....help!!

I have two kids who are going through the same stage right now: one almost 5 year old DD and DS who just turned one today. I would do exactly what you did, OP. Take the umbrella away, and if the older one keeps whining about it, send her to her room until she gets over it. The other main thing that I taught my DD was that the main reason her brother touches her things is because he's wondering why she finds them so fascinating, because he looks up to her and wants to be like her. So when he touches something of hers, instead of her yelling "No! No! Stop it!," a better option would be for her to say something about what he's touching, because he's really just touching it because he wants to learn something more about it. So for example, she could say, "Yes, that's my umbrella. See the handle? That part is the handle. Do you like the pretty colors? I see orange, and yellow, and blue. My favorite color is this one. Which one is yours? I like this umbrella because it keeps the rain from falling on me. One day when you are bigger, you can have an umbrella too!" Then after she's acknowledged his interest in the umbrella by making all these comments, she can gently take the umbrella away from him and substitute a toy that she knows he likes. HOWEVER, the important thing is that she has to keep interacting with him about the new (his) toy. So she needs to keep talking about the car, "Here's your little matchbox car. It's cool because it's red and has four wheels. Let's make it roll. Vrroom! Vrooom!" and so forth. And I told my DD the truth: her brother plays with her toys not because he WANTS her toys for himself, but because he wants her attention and wants to play with her. So the best way she can stop him from playing with toys she wants to keep to herself is to play with him using toys that she would prefer that he play with.

It was like a lightbulb went off in her head, and I have seen her use the strategy independently twice now, and I just taught it to her three days ago. It's really cut down on the squawking between them SO MUCH. And... I get the bonus of pleasure of listening to my two kids interacting positively with one another while I do something tedious and menial, like wash dishes.
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Old 07-06-2012, 01:06 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tweedledum
I have two kids who are going through the same stage right now: one almost 5 year old DD and DS who just turned one today. I would do exactly what you did, OP. Take the umbrella away, and if the older one keeps whining about it, send her to her room until she gets over it. The other main thing that I taught my DD was that the main reason her brother touches her things is because he's wondering why she finds them so fascinating, because he looks up to her and wants to be like her. So when he touches something of hers, instead of her yelling "No! No! Stop it!," a better option would be for her to say something about what he's touching, because he's really just touching it because he wants to learn something more about it. So for example, she could say, "Yes, that's my umbrella. See the handle? That part is the handle. Do you like the pretty colors? I see orange, and yellow, and blue. My favorite color is this one. Which one is yours? I like this umbrella because it keeps the rain from falling on me. One day when you are bigger, you can have an umbrella too!" Then after she's acknowledged his interest in the umbrella by making all these comments, she can gently take the umbrella away from him and substitute a toy that she knows he likes. HOWEVER, the important thing is that she has to keep interacting with him about the new (his) toy. So she needs to keep talking about the car, "Here's your little matchbox car. It's cool because it's red and has four wheels. Let's make it roll. Vrroom! Vrooom!" and so forth. And I told my DD the truth: her brother plays with her toys not because he WANTS her toys for himself, but because he wants her attention and wants to play with her. So the best way she can stop him from playing with toys she wants to keep to herself is to play with him using toys that she would prefer that he play with.

It was like a lightbulb went off in her head, and I have seen her use the strategy independently twice now, and I just taught it to her three days ago. It's really cut down on the squawking between them SO MUCH. And... I get the bonus of pleasure of listening to my two kids interacting positively with one another while I do something tedious and menial, like wash dishes.
Great idea. I am going to use that when our baby gets a little older.
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Old 07-06-2012, 01:34 PM   #9
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Re: And the sibling rivalry begins....help!!

Quote:
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However I don't think DD1 should be allowed to refuse to go to her room and not obey you.
I agree with this.
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Old 07-06-2012, 02:42 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by EmilytheStrange

I agree with this.
Ok. Perhaps I was not clear.

Very rarely do we do a time out where our daughter is removed from the family and put in her room. Instead we ask her if she needs to calm her body down. We do this as a "check your behavior" moment. The majority of the time she goes to her room and calms herself down and returns happy and refreshed. Occasionally, she will be too angry and refuse to go to her room and she calmly is picked up and put there by DH or I.

Today, I was not giving her an order (go to your room) she needed to "obey.". I was asking her to check her behavior. When she didn't calm down, the umbrella was placed in time out and it will stay there until she earns it back. As soon as the umbrella was placed in time out, I explained it was put there because she was not listening, treating her sister badly and this is because she was choosing to not calm herself down. She immediately went to her room and read books and calmed down.

The umbrella was taken away when she didn't do what was asked of her. There were consequences for her actions. She isn't allowed to disobey me.
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