I’ve been reading a very interesting book of late which I mentioned in my Twitter account (suefirthstress), after I had a particularly difficult weekend with my two children aged 10 and 12. Bickering between your kids is to be expected to some degree, but when it gets physical or they argue all the time it can be very wearying. I’d tried be cool about it, discipline when pushed, incentives to behave well and every bribe in the book without being silly about it, but nothing changed.
This book ‘Siblings without Rivalry’ by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish has really helped. Available on Amazon. com, it’s full of practical advice about how to stop encouraging the kids to compete against each other, or giving them roles which they don’t want, as well as ideas about how to stop them bullying each other and it’s been really useful.
I hadn’t realised how much my own tension might be contributing to the problem and that the issue really isn’t that they bicker, it’s that I haven’t taught them the skills to demonstrate and deal with their anger yet and once you realise this, things start to calm down. It’s also about empathising with the right child for the right reason and letting them get out the bad feelings because it’s only once they have, that any good ones can come in! Do pass it on as a useful read if you know of anyone with this problem.