I’ve teamed up with several other bloggers in my new “Ask Away Thursday” series! If you have a parenting question, be sure to send it our way, and it may be featured in a future installment! Here is today’s question, submitted by a reader:
“Boy o’ boy, boys will be boys! I have two sons very close in age, age 10 and age 8. They both have unconditional love for each other. One is very outgoing, talkative and gets along with pretty much everyone. The other one is more mellow, less talkative, and likes to have his own space more often. They have two different personalities and like to pick on each other, comparing who is better, quicker, and smarter. It doesn’t always end well. What are some ways to teach them to love one another, but at the same time, give each other space?”
I don’t have boys, and my children are younger, so I didn’t feel like I was the best person to answer this question. My personal motto is, “When in doubt, google it!”. So I did and I found lots of brilliant tips! The article I learned the most from was at about.com/parenting. Click the highlighted link to check it out yourself, and I’ll share below what I garnered from this article and others!
First, have a talk-
- Explain to your boys that they may have different interests and abilities, but that’s what makes them special and unique, not bigger and better. The world needs people of all kinds!
- Remind them that they don’t like to have their feelings hurt, and they shouldn’t purposefully hurt other’s feelings.
- Also remind them that they’re stuck with each other for life, so the sooner they learn how to get along, the better. 🙂
Second, take some practical measures-
- Implement a time each day where one boy spends time decompressing in his room, while your other son enjoys time with friends, or doing another activity he enjoys by himself.
- When one boy accomplishes a new level of expertise, whether it is a sports win, mastering a new piece of music, or whatever it may be, make sure to praise him and have his brother do the same. (I always talk my girls up to each other. I have to remind my oldest sometimes, that her sis is younger and therefore, these new achievements are a big deal for her!)
- Have them sit down and make a list of 5 things that the other boy is better at than them! This can also be used as a punishment for picking on each other, hahaha!
- I love the hug it out method. Another great punishment! This really did the trick when I babysat siblings that were fighting too too much! Somehow, before you knew it, they were falling down laughing. It’s worth a try.
And my favorite tip of all, I saw here, http://www.wikihow.com/Help-Your-Children-Get-Along. Check it out:
Task your children with working together instead of competing. This will help your children cooperate with each other in regards to working toward a particular goal. For example, state that both children will earn a treat if they help each other clean their rooms, instead of rewarding a particular child with a treat if they are the first one to finish cleaning their room.
I hope some of these ideas will help! I have similar issues with my daughters at times, but as they’re so young, they’re still relatively easy to redirect. 🙂 Good luck, mamas!
Head over to Healing Mama to see what she has to say on this subject!