Siblings Without Rivalry: How to Help Your Children Live Together So You Can Live Too by Adele Faber & Elaine Mazlish
(New York: Norton, 1987/2012), 251
Chapter 1: Brothers and Sisters—Past and Present
Chapter 2: Not Till the Bad Feelings Come Out
- Siblings need to have their feelings about each other acknowledged
- Children need to have their hurtful actions stopped and shown how to discharge angry feelings acceptably
- Refrain from attacking (and giving attention to) the attacker
Chapter 3: The Perils of Comparisons
- Resist the urge to compare. Instead describe what you see or feel
- Avoid both favorable and unfavorable comparisons
Chapter 4: Equal is Less
- Children don't need to be treated equally. They need to be treated uniquely.
- Instead of worrying about giving equal amounts, focus on each child's individual needs
- Instead of claiming equal love, show children how they're loved uniquely
- Equal time can feel like less, give time in terms of need
Chapter 5: Siblings in Roles
- Let no one lock a child into a role.
- Don't give your attention to the aggressor, attend to the injured party instead.
- Instead of the parent treating the child as a "bully", help him see that he's capable of being civil.
- When the child sees himself as a bully, help him see his capacity for kindness.
- Instead of the parent treating the child as a "victim", show him how to stand up for himself.
- No more problem child: instead of focusing on children's disabilities, focus on their abilities. Children need acceptance of their frustration, appreciation for what they have accomplished (however imperfect), and help in focusing on solutions.
Chapter 6: When the Kids Fight
- Level I: Normal bickering:
- Ignore it.
- Tell yourself the children are having an important experience in conflict resolution.
- Level II: Heating up:
- Acknowledge their anger.
- Reflect each child's point of view.
- Describe the problem with respect.
- Express confidence in the children's ability to find their own solution.
- Leave the room.
- Level III: Possibly dangerous:
- Inquire if real or play fight.
- Affirm: play fighting by mutual consent only.
- You are being too rough and need to find another activity.
- Level IV: Dangerous:
- Describe what you see.
- Separate the children.
- Resolving a difficult conflict:
- Call a meeting and explain the purpose
- Explain the ground rules (no interruption)
- Write down each child's feelings and concerns
- Allow time for rebuttal
- Invite everyone to suggest as many solutions as possible
- Decide on the solutions you can live with
- How t ogive support to the child who asks for it without taking sides:
- State each child's side
- State the value or rule
- Leave the doorway open for the possibility of negotiation
Chapter 7: Making Peace with the Past