When my second child was born my oldest was thrilled. She was just 15 months old at the time and she loved the little bundle we brought home. Until she wanted my attention and I was busy with the baby.
As parents, when the second child is born we have high hopes that the siblings will get along. The truth is, sibling rivalry starts early and if left unchecked can lead to years of anger and frustration – both for you and your child. I will admit, that I never thought about this when my kids were little. It wasn’t until they were much older that I started to look into how to get the girls to stop fighting that the light dawned.
By anyone’s standard I’m a good parent. I have always been a great mom, but as I read books like Siblings Without Rivalry: How to Help Your Children Live Together So You Can Live Too I realized what I was doing to contribute to the problem. Um, maybe it wasn’t such a good idea to make getting ready for bed a race. It worked beautifully. “Come on girls. Let’s see who can get ready for bed first!” Off they’d run, without a complaint. We were all happy. But maybe there was a better way.
In working with my sister, I’m discovering how much harder it is when one of the siblings has autism. January we have dedicated to the topic of siblings. Check out these posts for more information:
- How to Help Siblings of Children with Autism Build Positive Relationships – In this post we specifically talk about ways a sibling of a child with autism can improve their interactions with their brother or sister.
- How to Help Siblings Get Along When One or More Has Autism – This is the post I should have read when my kids were little. In it we talk about siblings and conflict. Although we delve into some specifics about children with autism, there is good advice here for all parents!
We have one more post coming next week on the topic of siblings before we discuss other ideas. Please join us on this journey. Follow our blog Accessible ABA and let me know what you think!