Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Parent to Parent: Sibling Rivalry
Dealing with sibling rivalry? For some parents it's a daily battle, but Dr. Valerie has some ways you can make this constant struggle more tolerable. Here is Lynn Martinez with today's Parent to Parent.
WSVN -- This is everyday life at the Lopez household.
Lauren and Gabby, 12-year-old identical twins, are suffering with a bad case of sibling rivalry.
Cary Lopez: "It's overwhelming, and sometimes you got to take a lot of deep breaths."
Cary says the girls fight pretty much every day.
Cary Lopez: "I'm constantly bickering with them, 'don't fight, share.' They fight even if they have the same thing."
Seven's parenting expert Dr. Valerie Goode says sibling rivalry can drive parents crazy but says take comfort. Sibling rivalry is actually a great learning experience for kids.
Dr. Valerie Goode: "You learn how to argue, you learn how to negotiate, you learn how to plan out things."
But that doesn't mean it can't get out of control. Dr. Valerie says, as a parent you need to make sure you never compare your children. Instead, emphasize their differences. Second, pay attention to when and where the fighting usually breaks out. That way you can come up with diversions.
Dr Valerie Goode: "Let's say it's in the car. Maybe you have some activities to make the car rides not quite as long. Put some music to eliminate that tension in the car."
Dr. Valerie says don't get caught up in trying to divide your time equally. It's impossible. Instead, make sure your kids know you're doing the best you can.
Cary Lopez: "Me and my husband share. Like, he will take one somewhere, and I'll stay at home with the other one, and we'll alternate."
But, for now, it seems nothing makes Gabby and Lauren happy, but, they admit, it's just all part of being sisters.
Gabby Lopez: "We cannot live without each other."
Lynne Martinez: "Dr. Valerie also advises to let the children work out their problems on their own before getting involved."
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Dr. Valerie Goode: