I have a goal this week to read one of my parenting books for 1/2 hour every day. I chose Siblings Without Rivalry first because we have plenty of siblings and plenty of rivalry. :) I was going to write down a few of my thoughts after I finished, and I figured I might as well compose a blog entry. Here are some goals for me to work on with the boys:
1. They need to feel comfortable being angry at one another. I tend to squash it early on -- but they share a room, they're different ages with different likes, etc. and by gosh they're gonna have times when they really resent each other, and that's OK. Allow them to find the words to say that.
2. They need to realize they're angry at an action or a situation, and not so much the person. If Conner hits Spencer and runs off, I need to get to the root of it and give him a feeling sentence "You feel angry when Spencer knocks down your Lincoln Logs" -- something like that.
3. Try and veer away from name calling and hitting. We don't have much of either of these right now but I can see them becoming a problem at times. Words that describe the situation/event that caused the problem are more appropriate.
Honestly, this is my 3rd run through this book (I usually read it every spring, now that I think about it). She has so many great real life situations, I really appreciate it. In the first section she gives the analogy of your spouse bringing home another spouse -- and how you'd want your feelings acknowledged and appreciated, not just have them squashed by him/her. I'm gonna try and keep that one in the back of my mind as I try and referee some of this out.
Also, this book reminded me that I'm gonna have issues with the other 2 when the baby's born. I think I've mostly thought about a LOT of sleepless nights and the stuff we'll need, etc. Reality is that it's a big change for them too. This book's giving me a lot of things to think about.