Tag Archives: childhood

How to End Sibling Rivalry – Parenting Tips

How to End Sibling Rivalry

How do I stop my children from fighting with each other?

How do I stop my children from fighting with each other?

Why can’t they just get along?!? Let’s face it—no matter how nicely the kids are playing one minute, the next minute might bring tears, and even fights. Sibling rivalry happens in every house with more than one child, and at every age. It’s a common challenge, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy on your sanity.

Try to see it your kids’ way…as soon as your second child comes along, your first is demoted, plus your second child might just get tired of being bossed around by Big Sister all day long. After all, how would you feel if your spouse brought home someone else and expected the two of you to get along?

While you can’t stop sibling rivalry entirely, you can reduce its frequency. This means less yelling from the next room, and more peace in your home! Follow these guidelines to prevent sibling rivalry episodes, and to put a quick end to them once they start:

Lose the labels. When we talk about our “athletic one,” “smartie” or even our “wild child,” we create competition amongst our kids. What’s more, we shelve kids into one role or another—whether they like it or not. By ditching labels, we give our “not-so-athletic” child a chance to shine even if she’s not a star, the straight-B student the opportunity to be proud of her hard work, and the “wild child” a chance to do the right thing. The key is to cheer on positive attributes, such as teamwork, persistence and kindness. Siblings can then root for each other instead of competing for their parents’ approval.

2. Arrange for attention. One of the top reasons kids fight is to gain their parents’ attention—and even negative attention is better than nothing. Plan on giving each child at least 10-20 minutes of positive, individual attention every day, from each parent, and all of a sudden, your kids will learn they don’t have to fight to get you to look their way.

3. Prepare for peace. Your kids might need a refresher course on peaceful conflict resolution. Train them on how to take turns, use “I feel” statements, walk away and control their temper (counting to 10, taking a deep breath, etc.), and you’ll be able to ward off a lot of sibling arguments before they begin.

4. Stay out of squabbles. When you do hear a disagreement between your kids, ignore it—busy yourself elsewhere. Give them a chance to work it out on their own, and at the same time, you’ll remove the payoff they get from your attention.

5. Calm the conflict. If your kids clearly can’t reach an agreement, or if the fight escalates, you might have to step in. Listen to each child, encouraging “I feel” statements as they tell their story. Then, without placing blame or taking sides, ask them to come up with some solutions. If no one is able to come up with a workable resolution, suggest a few yourself, and help them reach an agreement.

6. Put them all in the same boat. If your kids still can’t agree, it’s time to put them “all in the same boat.” Hand down a consequence, for instance, “Either you can take turns with the game, or I will put it away for the rest of the day.” Then follow through.

With these strategies in place, you’ll be able to keep sibling rivalry and fighting to a minimum.

– Kyoshi Bill Wakefield

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When can a child use a public bathroom by themselves?

Parenting Tips Blog – When can a child use a public bathroom by themselves?

As a parent, you should always know where your child is, what he or she is doing and with whom. Unfortunately, it is virtually impossible to ensure that you child will never be a victim of sexual abuse. Children can’t stop sexual abuse, but adults can.

Answer: This is a question that comes up frequently when a parent has a child of the opposite gender and he or she needs to use the bathroom. Around age 6 or 7, children can use the toilet by themselves without any assistance. When it comes to allowing a child to use a public restroom by himself, however, the issue isn’t about ability as much as it is about safety.

Child safety experts generally agree that most kids are not able to handle an emergency or threat to their safety until around age 10. That’s why it’s best to avoid letting your child use public restrooms in large areas, such as those found in stadiums or movie theatres, or bathrooms with multiple entrances, without you. Either take your child with you to the bathroom you use, or better yet, try to find a family restroom. (Women’s restrooms offer more privacy than men’s, so a dad traveling alone with a daughter will face a trickier dilemma; in that case, finding a small restroom, where he can closely monitor his daughter from outside the door would be the best bet.

The same goes for using public bathrooms in smaller areas. For instance, if you are at a restaurant where there is a small restroom with one entrance, you can let your child go in alone but under close supervision: Keep one foot in the door so that you can keep talking to your child. Have him or her use a stall close to the door. And be sure to remind your child not to talk to anyone or let a stranger approach him while he is using the facilities.

– Shihan Bill Wakefield
Owner/Chief Instructor
Combined Martial Arts Academy Nerang

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Bully Busting with Brains in the Martial Arts Classroom – Bill Wakefield

Nearly one-third of all school-aged children are bullied each year.*And it’s no longer just verbal or physical confrontations in the school yard. Kids are now cyberbullied through mean text messages and emails. Pictures, videos and cruel comments are posted on social networks.Bullying is a huge societal issue that we all need to address, but how do we handle bullying and prevent it?

Ask a handful of people what the best way is to address bullying, and you’ll likely get the response: “Fight back!” But encouraging bullying victims to respond through violence is not the answer.

The solution is educating children at an early age — first by helping them understand what bullying is, then by giving them the tools to appropriately respond.

At Combined Martial Arts, we’ve run an anti-bullying program for decades. The program is used and endorsed by a growing number of Queensland schools. It’s an important part of our Martial Arts curriculum.

How I approach the topic of bullying in our classes and seminars varies with the age group. But the objective is the same: to build self-confidence in all students and assurance that they have the right to grow up safe.

Role Playing is an Essential Part of Anti-Bullying Education

I work with children as young as three years old and with students in middle school and high school. Role playing is a critical part of our curriculum that demonstrates just what bullying is. 

For example, I may demonstrate bullying to our three- to six-year-old group by saying something like: “You’ve got germs.” Our young students are then given specific responses to say to a bully such as, “I don’t care what you say, I feel good about myself”. Students are also encouraged to respond through action such as walking away from the bully.

 

With six- to twelve-year-old students, we role-play but the context is different. We’ll role-play three to four scenarios, then review specific responses and actions to take to build up assertiveness.

The parents of this age group are also given homework, so that they can role-play with their children and open the lines of communication regarding bullying.

12 Ways to Walk Away with Confidence

In our program, we’ve also adopted guidance by Dr. Terrence Webster Doyle as provided in his Bully Buster program. These tips are particularly useful in working with students over the age of 10. 

1. Stand Up to the Bully — This can work but at times it can make some bullies angrier. You

must decide if you think this alternative will work in this situation with this bully.

2. Use Authority — Call a teacher, a police officer, a parent or someone you know to help stop

the bully from hurting you. This is not being a COWARD. This is stopping bullying before it

begins.

3. Use Humor — You can turn a scary situation into a funny one, but be careful. Have fun with

the bully rather than making fun of the bully.

4. Agree — If a bully insults you, agree with him/her. If you feel insulted, let your anger rise up,

watch it, and let it go.

5. Refuse to Fight — This may sound contrary to what you have always been told, but one way to stop conflict is to not fight, no matter what happens.

6. Use Trickery — Pretend you are sick. Pretend you have poison oak. Pretend you have some

infection the bully will get if he/she fights with you. Tell the bully someone is about to meet you

like your big brother or sister or parents.

7. Scream or Yell — A good shout can shock the bully and distract him/her for a moment, so you

can get away.

8. Make Friends — Treat the bully as a friend instead of an enemy. All bullies need admiration and respect.

9. Reason with the Bully — If you are a good talker, perhaps you and the bully can talk it out. If

you don’t argue or get angry, if you act friendly, you might convince a bully to not hurt you.

10. Walk Away — Don’t get into it. This is a simple and often overlooked way to end conflict before it ever begins. Walk away, BUT WITH CONFIDENCE.

11. Ignore the Threats — This is similar to simply walking away. You hear the threats and you

turn and walk away from the bully, even though the bully is calling you a coward and trying to

get you angry enough to react.

12. Take a Strong Stance — As a last resort, take a strong stance. This tells the bully you are

prepared to protect yourself if you are attacked. But hopefully, one or more of the other ways

will work first.

Role-playing, modifying the curriculum based on age group and incorporating the 12 Ways to Walk Away with Confidence are the primary elements that have worked in our anti-bullying program.

 

Let me know what you do in your business to educate and empower your students and members.

I strongly believe every Martial Arts school should incorporate anti-bullying curriculum into their programs. Together we can make a difference and break the cycle of violence and bullying in our communities.

 

Shihan Bill Wakefield is one of Australia’s pioneers of growth and success in the Martial Arts industry. He is the founder of Combined Martial Arts Academy (C.M.A.A.), the Gold Coast’s leading Self-Defense and Character Development Academy. Bill is also a well-known and prominent speaker on the subject of Martial Arts business, and a member of the Member Solutions Business Advisory Team.

*PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center

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