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Photo by Sharon D. Pruitt

If you have more than one child, then you most certainly have seen sibling rivalry. It is a natural part of the sibling relationship. How one handles the ugly monster can make all the difference in the world. Trying to figure out who started what and dolling out some kind of consequence seems like the right decision. The flaw with that decision is that without really knowing what happened one child will always feel that they “won” and the other that they “lost”. This further ignites and continues the rivalry.

In 3 Steps to a Strong Family written by the Eyres, the problem of sibling fighting is solved in a simple but very effective way. When the Eyres encounter their children fighting, they have them sit down together until both of them ask each other for forgiveness for their contribution to the problem. It takes two to fight and with this system each must delve down deep and come out accountable. I have found in my home that one child often feels that they are “right”. This solution helps each child step into the others shoes for a minute. It helps to create empathy—the ability to identify with the feelings of another. It also allows you as the parent to stay out of the middle of the situation which is ultimately the perfect solution toward reducing the fighting.

Next time you catch your kids fighting, try this technique. Twice I’ve used this technique just before we were going out to do something. The kids had to work things out and apologize sincerely before we were able to leave. Having this impending outing turned out to be great incentive for them to expedite the process of forgiveness.

As always, please share how this works for your family or if you have other effective ways to this very common family problem.


Photo by Andrew J. Cosgriff

I just completed my first marathon less than two weeks ago. I should be feeling invincible. But I don’t. 26.2 miles couldn’t stop me but the flu just kicked me in the pants. It was inevitable. The Tuesday after my race I found myself completely depleted after coming off of the final adrenaline surge of my accomplishment. I also found myself sitting in the waiting room of the pediatricians office – the dreaded petri dish. My son complained of a sore throat after having his classmate come down with strep the day before so I knew I had to take my chances. I didn’t touch anything. I used hand sanitizer. I found myself inside the same office four days later to have my daughter inoculated for the swine flu. It only took us one day after that for us all to come down with the fever, cough and terrible chills. Murphy’s Law.

There is a positive in this situation. Between shivering under the covers and the Tylenol kicking in, I had time to catch up on my favorite blogs and take care of some housecleaning and organizing that just never gets to the top of the list.

One of the things that I learned while stuck at home this week is that sometimes you have to start over.

I was reading some old posts from a new blog favorite, Mama-Om. Stacy gives great examples of being present in our children’s daily lives. It made me start to think about how I’ve wasted many connecting opportunities with my kids lately. I have always allowed the kids a little TV decompression time. When the kids sit to watch their two shows, I disappear upstairs to my computer. Time disappears for us all until we are in a frantic rush trying to get ready for whatever is next – dinner making, practice, lessons. This chaotic energy follows us through homework, getting ready for the next morning and all the way until bedtime.

I have been finding that my kids are always in a conflict and that interactions with my son have been ending in mutually frustrated feelings.

I decided to start again with a no TV rule on weekdays. It has only been two days but the difference is noticeable.

  • My kids (four years apart and opposite sexes) have started finding ways to play together again instead of squabbling.
  • More books were read and instruments were picked up and played.
  • The three of us spent time playing board games, reading together, laughing, appreciating and relishing the time spent together.
  • All of the sudden there was ample time to get everything done without that feeling of the clock ticking.
  • I was more present and able to see some teachable moments in school stories that were shared or during interactions between the kids.

It is not that the TV time took over the whole day (it was only 1 hour) but after being in school for 7 hours that extra lack of connection by zoning out in front of the screen created an energy that tainted the way we related to each other for the rest of the day. Habits are easily created and often hard to break, but it is possible to start over.

Current Classes:


6-7:15am Power Vinyasa (H)

6-7am Power Vinyasa

Story Time Yoga

5-7 year olds
8-11 year olds


10:30-11:30 Power Vinyasa

Yoga for Athletes

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