Siblings Without Rivalry

A friend with two kids recommended that I read sibling books before I needed them, as I wouldn’t have time afterwards. I’d heard this was good and had been recommending it, so I thought I should actually read it.

Siblings without Rivalry by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish As far as I can tell, the major conflict in siblings books is what to do when siblings fight: do you let them work it out themselves, try to solve their problems for them, or just punish all involved parties without trying to arbitrate? This classic book from the authors of How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk brings a nuanced yet simple-to-implement solution to this as well as many other classic sibling problems. The answer to the first question is first to see if anyone is getting hurt, physically or verbally. If they are, describe what you see, say that hurting is not allowed, and separate them to give them time to cool off. If there isn’t imminent danger, have both of them describe the problem, describe each side back to them. Then tell them that it’s a difficult problem, but you’re sure that they will be able to find a solution. Then leave the room, telling them where you’ll be. They recommend never taking sides yourself, voting only as a very last resort, and not punishing. The last is to protect the other child, as a punished child will be out for revenge and see the sibling, as responsible for the punishment.

Of course, that chapter comes close to the end of a book, following on topics like avoiding comparisons and assigning roles. Every chapter includes a discussion of the topic, stories from group participants, cartoons for three different age levels illustrating the good and bad way to handle the problems, and summaries at the end of the chapter. Faber and Mazlish are experts on the topic, both as parents and as students of Haim Ginott, the eminent psychologist. Their techniques have been worked out in lots and lots of groups over the past couple of decades, but they still include a lengthy resource list at the back in case you want more. In spite of the title, they are reassuring in saying that rivalry will happen in the best of families. The techniques are invaluable for anyone who has to deal with multiple children, whether or not they are siblings. The book might even shed some light on your relationship with your adult siblings.

About Katy K.

I'm a librarian and book worm who believes that children and adults deserve great books to read.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Siblings Without Rivalry

  1. Pingback: 3 Positive Parenting Books | alibrarymama

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Siblings Without Rivalry

A friend with two kids recommended that I read sibling books before I needed them, as I wouldn’t have time afterwards. I’d heard this was good and had been recommending it, so I thought I should actually read it.

Siblings without Rivalry by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish As far as I can tell, the major conflict in siblings books is what to do when siblings fight: do you let them work it out themselves, try to solve their problems for them, or just punish all involved parties without trying to arbitrate? This classic book from the authors of How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk brings a nuanced yet simple-to-implement solution to this as well as many other classic sibling problems. The answer to the first question is first to see if anyone is getting hurt, physically or verbally. If they are, describe what you see, say that hurting is not allowed, and separate them to give them time to cool off. If there isn’t imminent danger, have both of them describe the problem, describe each side back to them. Then tell them that it’s a difficult problem, but you’re sure that they will be able to find a solution. Then leave the room, telling them where you’ll be. They recommend never taking sides yourself, voting only as a very last resort, and not punishing. The last is to protect the other child, as a punished child will be out for revenge and see the sibling, as responsible for the punishment.

Of course, that chapter comes close to the end of a book, following on topics like avoiding comparisons and assigning roles. Every chapter includes a discussion of the topic, stories from group participants, cartoons for three different age levels illustrating the good and bad way to handle the problems, and summaries at the end of the chapter. Faber and Mazlish are experts on the topic, both as parents and as students of Haim Ginott, the eminent psychologist. Their techniques have been worked out in lots and lots of groups over the past couple of decades, but they still include a lengthy resource list at the back in case you want more. In spite of the title, they are reassuring in saying that rivalry will happen in the best of families. The techniques are invaluable for anyone who has to deal with multiple children, whether or not they are siblings. The book might even shed some light on your relationship with your adult siblings.

About Katy K.

I'm a librarian and book worm who believes that children and adults deserve great books to read.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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