Handling Sibling Jealousy

sibling rivalry

Parents since the beginning of time have been dealing with sibling rivalry. We dream of our children becoming the best of friends, but disagreements between siblings happen. While you can’t stop it entirely, you can reduce the frequency. Here are some tips to help keep the peace in your house:

1. Keep in mind it is natural.

Having to share parents, toys, snacks, etc. can be stressful and most children don’t have the tools to know the best way to handle those feelings. So try to be patient and explain to your little ones that there is plenty of love, food, and yes… even toys, to go around.

2. Spend one-on-one time with each child.

One of the top reasons kids fight is to gain their parents’ attention—and even negative attention is better than nothing. Make sure to spend individual time with each of your children, or just sit and snuggle. This will go a long way to helping them feel valued and loved, which will cut down on sibling jealousy and help squash any resentment that may build because of favoritism.

3. Stay out of squabbles.

When possible, let your children settle their own differences. Not only will this keep you from being stressed out by playing referee, but it will also teach your kids skills they will carry with them through life. You may have to step in and settle a spat between toddlers or preschoolers, but older children will probably settle an argument themselves if left alone.

4. Be clear in your expectations

Tell your kids what you expect of them regardless of their difference, such as, “Under no circumstances should you hit your brother”, “We don’t allow yelling in this house” or even something as simple as “These chips are for you and your sister to share.” Being clear and concise will cut down on confusion and hopefully the disagreements it causes.

5. Praise your kids for being nice

A little positive reinforcement goes a long way. Encourage your children by praising them when they are being nice to each other.  Try to catch your children being nice to each other and praise them for it.

6. Treat each child as an individual

Each child is unique. They want to feel separate from their siblings. They will develop their own interests, skills and talents to develop their sense of self. Encourage this by treating each of your children as an individual. Avoid any behavior that could make it look as if you’re playing favorites.

Editor’s Note: Always seek the advice of your pediatrician or a family counselor if you have any questions regarding your own health or the health of your family.

Related Topics

Childrens Dental Health Month

Childrens Dental Health Month

February is National Childrens Dental Health MonthThis is a great time to focus on the benefits and the importance of oral health in children.

Tooth decay is one of the most common chronic diseases in children and teens. According to the CDC, 21% percent of children aged 6-11 years have at least one cavity in their permanent teeth.

The CDC recommends that a child’s complete preventive dental program include fluoride, twice-daily brushing, wise food choices, and regular dental care.

So, when do you begin?

Professionals say “first visit by first birthday.” In other words, your child is ready when they sprout their first tooth. Even with only one tooth, dentists can begin monitoring for tooth decay from bottle feeding or nursing.

Avoid sugary drinks and foods, limit frequent snacking between meals, and maintain a healthy diet. Make sure to keep regular appointments with your dentist. Teach your children to brush and floss their teeth twice a day for at least two minutes. Your child may need your help brushing until she has the manual dexterity to do it herself — usually around six years of age.

How can you make brushing fun?

Granted, your toddler may not understand why she needs to brush her teeth, no matter what you say. If your little one resists your instructions, don’t give up.  Here are some suggestions to help you make brushing fun:

  • Switching when you brush and floss so that it happens right after dinner, and not right before bedtime.
  • Instead of simply supervising your child, brush your teeth together.
  • Play music while your child is brushing and flossing. Try a new brushing and flossing song each night.
  • Use a reward chart to reward your child’s good efforts. Buy sets of stickers you think your child will love.
  • Let your child brush your teeth. (You can do it again yourself later.)

More information:

Tasty Cooking: Powered Sugar Pound Cake

powdered sugar pound cake

One of my new year’s resolutions was to practice baking a new item each month. This month I’m on the hunt for a great pound cake recipe.

I decided to try this recipe for a powered sugar pound cake mainly because I was out of granulated sugar (and didn’t want to make a trip to the grocery store!) The recipe calls for cake flour, which I happened to have on hand.

The cake is sweet and moist on the inside with a nice crusty top. I was one egg short — still, it turned out beautifully. My boys loved it, especially with fresh strawberries and whipped cream on top! I’m glad I tried it.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups butter, at room temperature
  • 1 pound powdered sugar, sifted
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 3/4 cups cake flour, sifted
  • 1/4 cup almonds sliced (optional)
  • 1 pint strawberries, washed and quartered (option)
  • your favorite whipped topping (optional)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. In a large bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer until creamy.

Sift powered sugar; gradually add to butter, beating until mixture is light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Gradually beat flour into creamed mixture.

Heavily butter a 10-inch (12-cup) plain or decorative tube pan; add sliced almonds (optional), then tilt pan to cat inside surface with nuts. Or butter pan and dust with flour. Spoon batter into pan and smooth top of surface. Bake until a slender wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, about 1 1/2 hours.

Let cool in pan on rack for 5 minutes; run a knife around edges of tube to loosen center of cake, then turn out onto rack to cool.

Serve warm or cool, cut into thin slices. Add strawberries and your favorite whipped topping for a delightful dessert. Can be stored airtight for up to 2 days.

Serves 10.

strawberry shortcake
Powdered sugar pound cake topped with strawberries and cream

 

Raising a Gifted Child

gifted child

 

“My son Aaron is a gifted child. He was talking by age 2, quickly and fully potty trained by age 3, and reading on his own by age 4,” said Virginia K. “Still, I was shocked when the school psychologists tested him and his IQ score came back as 156.”  

If you have noticed that your child masters milestones before other children his age or has an exceptional talent in the visual or performing arts, he may be gifted.

Gifted children may read early or have an exceptional memory, accompanied by a seemingly endless curiosity and need to learn. If testing has shown your child is gifted, or you believe he may be, here are a few ways you can nurture your child’s strengths and help him explore new interests.

1. Satisfy your child’s need to learn

A gifted child may become bored quickly with what their peers consider the “must have” toys. Provide your gifted child with toys that satisfy his need to learn and challenge his problem solving skills. Also, help your child select books that are appropriate for both his reading level and his age. Include plenty of nonfiction books.

2. Expose your child to educational activities

It can be difficult to completely satisfy your gifted child’s quest for knowledge at home. Look for educational activities available in your community that suit your child’s strengths and select activities that introduce new things. Take him to visit new places, like museums, planetariums, and historical sites. Children too young for a class may enjoy story hour at the library or bookstore.

3. Ask open-ended questions

When you visit a new place or try a new activity, ask your child questions that will challenge him to think and problem-solve. Also, be prepared to answer his questions and offer to help him research the answer.

4. Help your child stay engaged with learning

Gifted students are not always successful in school.  They may lack interest in the curriculum or the curriculum isn’t challenging or engaging. Assess your child’s educational environment each year and adjust it to match her growth and needs. Put your child in the best school you can afford or find a good school with a flexible environment where your child can advance at her own pace.

5. Pay attention to any social or behavioral issues

Gifted kids are almost comparable to special needs children. While their IQs are high, they may have behavioral aspects that need special attention. Their social/emotional maturity may lag far behind intellectual skills, making them out of sync with other kids the same age. Allow your child to act her chronological age. Talk to a child psychologist or your school counselor for additional suggestions.

Resources:

Craft: Crayon Sun Catchers

crayon sun catchers

Craft Idea: Crayon Sun Catchers

Valentine’s Day is coming up and I thought it was great time to try a new craft with my kids. I adore stain glass, so when I found directions for these cute crayon sun catchers on theSuburbanMom.com, I knew I had to try them.

I’m not a very crafty person, but the directions looked simple. Plus, I had all of the materials on hand.

What You Will Need:

  • Old Crayons
  • Wax Paper
  • Parchment or Kraft Paper
  • Manual Sharpener or Knife
  • Iron

Remove the paper from the crayons. Then use a manual pencil sharpener to shave the crayons down to nubs. You may want to lay down some paper towels during this step. We prepped our crayons while watching a movie and got shavings all over ourselves.

crayon shavings

Place your shavings on a piece of wax paper – approximately 12 x 12 inches.

Tip: Use only one crayon for each piece of wax paper.

Fold the wax paper in half and then double fold the edges to create an envelope that will contain the shavings. This is very important.

Tip: Be sure to double fold over your edges or wax will run out when you iron. 

Place your wax paper envelope between a large piece of folded parchment or kraft paper. The parchment paper works as a drop cloth to contain the melted wax and protect your iron.

melted crayon wax

Set your iron to a low setting and run it over the parchment paper. As the wax melts, let it run inside the wax paper envelope to the edges, filling it with color. When the melted crayon is more or less evenly distributed, set it aside to cool (about a minute or two).

Once cool, use a pencil to draw large hearts on the wax paper envelopes, and then cut out your hearts. We cut ours freehand.

Finally, punch a hole in your hearts and hang them in the window.

crayon sun catchers 2

Enjoy!