Friday, July 24, 2015

Do Your Kids Get Along?

This post is written as part of the Round Table Discussions with Natural Parent Network volunteers. In an effort to discuss, support, and promote a kinder, more gentle world, we are taking an in depth view of various books. Our current book is Peaceful Parent, Happy Siblings: How to Stop the Fighting and Raise Friends for Life by Dr. Laura Markham, author of Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids: How to Stop Yelling and Start Connecting. We hope you will join us with an open mind and a desire for change and growth.

One question I get asked A LOT is, "Do your kids get along?" or some variation of that.

If I'm having a conversation with someone, I explain that yes, they get along, mostly. There are times they have arguments and yes, even fights. 

But what I've observed over the years of being a Mama to multiple kiddos is that sibling rivalry and fighting has not been (blessedly) a major concern in our family.

There was that period of a few months after Kitty Girl was born when Sharky Boy had a rough time adjusting. But we were prepared as we had anticipated that (yay for reading and learning how to help support him ahead of time!). It was still really, really hard (especially for me as I was home alone with the kids 90% of the time). We did a lot of tips from Hand in Hand Parenting {and actually they are also tips Dr. Laura suggests in Chapter Two to help connect with your child and to help them release emotional baggage}. These things helped him tremendously and he was able to get through that time and in the end he and her have a really close bond {they actually all do}.

So back to what I was saying, rivalry and fighting, while they do happen occasionally, is not something I sit up worrying about at night {I have plenty on that list already!}.

I think the reason the MomeeeZen kids get along is because I got lucky!

Haha! I would like to analyze and maybe have a therapist tell me why!

All kidding aside, I think, especially after reading Chapter Three, I really do believe it is because we made it very clear and an important part of introducing every new baby that the older kids were NOT being replaced, that we still loved them all and valued them, and wanted to spend time with them.

As Dr. Laura says, "Research shows that if you have a positive relationship with each of your children, they're much more likely to have a positive relationship with each other."

The early months and years of each of my kiddo's lives were very involved. I remember thinking I would never be "free" again! We follow attachment parenting ideas mostly, because we wanted and prioritized building strong bonds and attachments with each of our kids. Back then I had an idea of how important it was...but now that my kids are getting older, I really do SEE the benefits of all that work I (we) put in, and I'm so glad I (we) did! I hope if any new or about-to-be parents are reading this, they feel encouraged to stick it through and hang in there. It will be worth it in the end when you witness the beautiful bonds, games, gestures of kindness and generosity the kids show towards each other. And all this despite my tendency to be a yeller at my breaking point (remember this post!? Happy to say I'm making great progress!)

And if you are looking for change in the way you've been doing things, don't worry, the good news is that it IS possible to build a positive relationship with your child starting NOW. Check out Dr. Laura's website for awesomely helpful info.

See you next week for Chapter Four <3

No comments:

Post a Comment

Leave me a little note, it'll make me smile :-)