We don’t have to leap into every sibling battle or correct every minor infraction of the rules, especially if a child is having a bad day. Many things go better if we don’t intervene, and it’s possible to learn even the lessons that need the most repetition while occasionally getting a pass.
This is a great one to remember when you hear a sibling argument flare up in the next room. Sibling rivalry has the power to make the whole family miserable, but once family expectations for respectful behavior are set, it’s up to kids to figure out how to live with one another and we need to stand back and let it happen.
Also note that if you see something, don’t always say something can become if you hear something, pretend you didn’t. For example, if you hear your kid muttering under her breath about chores and how she’s always asked to do more than her siblings and it just isn’t fair. Just let her blow off some steam.
Sometimes, we become happier parents by doing things differently. But mostly, we shift things by changing how we think and feel. Repeat this mantra to yourself when you’re irritated and about to launch headlong into a lecture your child has heard eighteen times this week. Sometimes, refraining from saying something gives our kids an extra beat to correct a behavior on their own. And sometimes, staying quiet gives us a chance to cool down instead of escalate the situation. And escalation never leads to happier parenting.
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