Generation X parents with a trail of sibling scars in your own midlife family- want to make sure your own kids do not grow up with lasting brother or sister emotional or physical scars?
Attend to wounds right away, and be there to referee the fights because they will come up all the time. Show a respect for each point of view; listen to both sides. Schedule time with your kids to do this if you work. Have children engaged in after-school activities so they don’t come home and argue in an unsupervised environment.
Family meetings give parents an excellent tool to listen to both sides of a sibling argument. They provide a safe arena where you can impose rules about each person taking a turn to express his or her viewpoint. Parents can also set rules in the beginning about no interrupting so each child can say what he or she has to say without another child butting in. At the family meeting you can ask each sibling to share his or her concerns and use the Go Around Technique. where each person at the meeting gets to respond to the topic. So if the Go Around topic was what happened this week that you didn’t like, and one sibling said something the other sibling did made him mad, the Go Around technique would give the other siblings a chance to respond in a really safe environment. You are listening to both sides of the issue.
In the family meeting held by Gen X parents Glenda and Oscar, they discuss how Jinx and Fess have been fighting after school. The two parents are given an opportunity to listen to both sides of the issue. Having to change all of Snookie’s diapers is daughter Jinx’s number one complaint. She says that Fess does not step up to the plate and help her. Preteen Fess says he hates changing diapers and he’s a boy anyway and that’s girls’ work. Besides he’s really embarrassed at looking at Snookie’s” pooey “ private parts. The parents realize that this argument can be resolved by their children and they have to fix the problem by relieving the kids from babysitting and making a backup child care plan for when Glenda has to stay overtime at work and her regular day care provider drops Snookie off.
What about kids who have seriously injured the other? Gayanne and Amos, respond to an incident where their kids get into such a pushing match on either side of a glass-paned door that Roger ends up with a bloody gash and is taken to the ER, as Ted was in the 1950s. But Amos and Gayanne deal with this serious situation by seeking counseling right away. This very scary incident between her two children prompted Gayanne to get her kids and the entire family to counseling. This tending to the wound right away set the stage for a positive outcome, so there would be no festering emotional injury, no “I Hate You” story, and no lifetime of blame between her two kids.