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Having two kids at home can be stressful, even if fun. Apart from showering them with seamless love, here are some tips for building their mutual love and camaraderie.
As if the decision of creating one baby was not difficult enough, some very ‘brave’ parents add complexity to their own lives by bringing along another baby for their first baby (read partners in crime).
Advice like “You have a brother/sister and so you also must give your child a sibling”, “Single children become lonely after certain age”, “You will get totally free when the two of them grow up a bit” and so on provide you with the encouragement you need to take this all important decision.
But, as you start managing the two of them all by yourself, you are bound to seek some help to manage the two live wires. Being a mother of two young tykes on my own, here are some practical tips that you can use to bring them up with love and respect for each other. (For the sake of my convenience and yours, we will refer to the elder sibling as A and the younger one as B):
I am sure all of you already know about it and this is the reason that makes this point so important. Comparing two kids is the worst thing ever. Each child is different and special in his own way and therefore refrain from comparing them even when you are talking about them to other adults. Kids are more observant than what we think they are. Common comparisons that you would inadvertently do are:
“B never troubles me for food, A was very fussy”
“A is not listening to mommy. See what a good boy B is”
“B is stronger than what A was at his age”
All this will just pit them against each other, and this is not what you want right?
Two children at home and no shouting, screaming or fighting! Impossible.. The golden rule here is that just observe and let them fight their own battle. If the matter comes to you, it is best not to take sides (unless one of the two has been really mean). If you are pushed to take sides, it is best to move on to another activity. Distraction works the best and if you think, this is avoidance, then you can come back to the matter a little later once the kids are receptive for your moral teaching.
Sharing is not just confined to sharing objects but sharing food, glasses, sippers should also be encouraged once both the children are over 2 years of age. You will realize that truly ‘baatne se pyaar badhta hai.’
A wants to go to the park, B wants to play at home! What do you do?
Approach it methodically.
Step 1 : Ask them to first arrive at a mutual agreement and walk out of the room for five minutes. If they have arrived at a decision, it is well and good, otherwise move to Step 2.
Step 2 : Propose an altogether new third activity which might interest both of them like reading a book, going to their favorite mall or watching a movie together.
Step 3: If Step 2 also does not resolve the problem, then allocate time for both of their activities with proper reasoning and without taking sides like:
‘Since it will become too dark outside to play, we will first go to the park for half an hour and then come back home and play’.
Step 4: Keep your fingers crossed that by this a resolution is reached.. or else you are bound to get frustrated.
Step 5 : Yell for peace of your mind!
The little human beings that we have at home are capable of expressing their dissent and anger but shy away while expressing their love. As they grow up, you will find this happening even more. So, you take up this task and remind them how much the other one loves him. This can be simply done like:
If A is ready for school and waiting for B, then tell B that your brother/sister loves you so much that he is so patiently waiting for you.
If B offers a piece of his chocolate to A, then make sure you remind A that this is an act of love.
Small acts of love, forgiveness and sacrifice must be highlighted at all times. This will make them sensitive towards each other and will also pave way for them to do these acts on their own, not for the want of appreciation but for the realization of love.
A common practice with parents is to make the elder sibling responsible for the younger one. I say make both of them responsible for each other. That is how it is going to be in the future when your kids will be adults and age will just be a number. So, start it from now on. This will not make A feel that load of responsibility and will make B feel independent too.
Try out these simple but effective methods, coming straight from the horse’s mouth and you will surely see the difference.
Do you have any other points to contribute? Feel free to share your views and opinions on this topic!
kids playing image via Shutterstock
Ruchi Verma Rajan is a woman on a mission of self-discovery.
An avid reader
Commendable Ruchi Rajan !!
Nice practical things to remember.. U made the read interesting!!
Have bookmarked it for future. Fun read and enlightening too as I thought step 5 was the only way out! 😛
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