When kids are fighting, many parents immediately think as a judge.
Who is the perpetrator and who is the victim?
In other words, who is guilty and who is innocent.
Many times the older child seems to be the instigator because the younger child is weaker and often complains more.
And, you may be right. The older sibling could start to “pick” on their sibling right in front of you.
One mom I was coaching privately described numerous situations where the older daughter would “pick” on the younger one at the dinner table. She would tell her younger sister to not sit in a certain chair, that what she was wearing was stupid, or to get away from her.
If you saw these behaviors, what would be your first reaction? It may be like this mom’s which was to tell the older girl to stop and to tell her to be nice to her sister. The problem was that even if she did stop momentarily, she would do it again.
So, the parental trap she, and you may get stuck in, is to ask, “how do I get my child to stop this rude behavior?” In other words, how do I keep my child from acting badly?
The mom I was coaching saw the behavior as the problem.
The bad behavior was the outward manifestation of an inner struggle the child was having. The source of the problem however wasn’t being addressed. Too often parents try to stop a child’s negative behavior, the part they can see, but the negative behaviors keep popping up and often get worse.
I gave her advice to explore how her daughter was feeling about HERSELF. Was she feeling bad and taking it out on her sister? If so, how was the mom contributing to her daughter’s poor view of herself?
With my guidance, she took several steps to stop her contributions to the problem and instead focused on raising her daughter’s self-esteem.
To our amazement, the daughter stopped picking on her sister almost immediately and even learned to be nice to her!. ( I continually am amazed how positive changes from a parent can bring out positive changes in a child very quickly.”)
How children perceive themselves is so fundamental to how they interact within and outside of the family. I want to help you understand this profound dynamic so you can make glorious positive changes in your family.
Join me and learn what the mom did differently, the three types of self-esteem and what you want to stop doing and start doing to help your kids develop high self-esteem.
The FREE High Self-Esteem Child Challenge