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Question
Posted by: Mother | 2012/08/20

Chlidren not getting along

I am at my wits end now, in fact I dread going home. I have a 17yr old and a 6yr old. Boy does these children make me sick. I am so sorry, but it’ s true. The refuse to get along, they 24/7 at each other. Big one is blaming small one and small one blaming big one and this go ON till one of them are asleep. My hubby met me with the big one, so it’ s not her father. But they get along fine. The children can be as sweet as sugar at times, but most of the time it’ s a battle field. Anything and everything is an issue. I lose it so much at times that I say and do things I regret. I pray to God for it to come to an end, but they seriously cannot sit in one room for more than 5 minutes together. When we go shopping, they CANNOT sit together at the back. Only time when we have peace is when one of them stay at home and will always be the big one. The minute I walk in at night, it starts. The big one feels the small one has NO respect for her. I try to talk, I talk and talk, hubby talk and talk. 5 minutes of peace, than we back to norm. They both girls and it breaks my heart to see them going on like this. I love them both and I would die for my children. My biggest wish is for them to get along. They do love each other and I know there’ s a big gap, but that is no excuse for them to behave like animals towards each other. Please help

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

You're apparently describing a home with no proper disciplinary system and in urgent need of one. There is absolutely no need to accept all this conflict and squabbling. When they squabble, BOTH are responsible, and you must not allow yourself to get drawn into adjudicating blame. Youre a mom, not a judge.
But you and your husband ( who MUST be involved ) must calmly draw up a set of basic rules for the house, with negative consequences for breaking the rules ( not corporal puinishment which doesn't work - like the nonse of saying : if you smack your sister again, I'll smack you !) and positive consequences for keeping to the rules.
Such rules should include basic requirements - no cruelty or fighting, no physical violence or name-calling ; sharing household chores ; behaving politely towards each other, parents and others when in public, and so on.
Of course they can be sweet at times - when it suits them. The trick is to make it suit them routinely.
Stop all that talking ; the rules and the consequences are not up for debate, nor are your decisions. If they can't sit calmly together in the back of the car, then they can't go shopping at all. Breaking the rules mean no TV, no cellphone, whatever they value, for a specific time, increased for each refraction.
New things they want - going to parties, buying things they want, whatever, should not arrive automatically, but need to be earned by good behaviour.
Curious, isn't it, that you say the fuss starts when you return home, apparently not earlier than that. So its as though they are competing for your attention. Remember the value as a reward of your pleasant attention, which should focus on praising and spending nice time with them WHEN they do something right, especially when they have spent a day peacefully.
And rather than giving negative attention ( for which they may also in a sense be competing ) for bad behaviour, give NO attention - separate them, to different rooms, and pay no further attention at all - no arguments, scolding beyond a simple reminder of what they have done wrong ).
Giving discipline is one of the most important ways of showing love to your children

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1
Our users say:
Posted by: cybershrink | 2012/08/20

You're apparently describing a home with no proper disciplinary system and in urgent need of one. There is absolutely no need to accept all this conflict and squabbling. When they squabble, BOTH are responsible, and you must not allow yourself to get drawn into adjudicating blame. Youre a mom, not a judge.
But you and your husband ( who MUST be involved ) must calmly draw up a set of basic rules for the house, with negative consequences for breaking the rules ( not corporal puinishment which doesn't work - like the nonse of saying : if you smack your sister again, I'll smack you !) and positive consequences for keeping to the rules.
Such rules should include basic requirements - no cruelty or fighting, no physical violence or name-calling ; sharing household chores ; behaving politely towards each other, parents and others when in public, and so on.
Of course they can be sweet at times - when it suits them. The trick is to make it suit them routinely.
Stop all that talking ; the rules and the consequences are not up for debate, nor are your decisions. If they can't sit calmly together in the back of the car, then they can't go shopping at all. Breaking the rules mean no TV, no cellphone, whatever they value, for a specific time, increased for each refraction.
New things they want - going to parties, buying things they want, whatever, should not arrive automatically, but need to be earned by good behaviour.
Curious, isn't it, that you say the fuss starts when you return home, apparently not earlier than that. So its as though they are competing for your attention. Remember the value as a reward of your pleasant attention, which should focus on praising and spending nice time with them WHEN they do something right, especially when they have spent a day peacefully.
And rather than giving negative attention ( for which they may also in a sense be competing ) for bad behaviour, give NO attention - separate them, to different rooms, and pay no further attention at all - no arguments, scolding beyond a simple reminder of what they have done wrong ).
Giving discipline is one of the most important ways of showing love to your children

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