Working it Wednesday.
With 3 kids there is almost always someone who feels left out. Even just with the two boys trying to share toys this can happen. Someone is doing something the other wants to and there is almost always tears.
Today, for example, I needed to fold laundry so put Biscuit in her door jumper for the first time. Porridge had a small turn “looking after her” (read: bouncing her about) then went to do something but quickly returned only to find his brother had taken over and flat out refused to let him near Biscuit. There were tears and Porridge did his trademark stomping-off-while-you’re-talking-to-him which he always does when upset, even when you’re trying to make the situation better. I need a new strategy for dealing with that… But that’s another post.
Anyway, he eventually returned after me calling for him several times and I employed my new favourite tactic in these situations; “Designated Photographer”. In other words I gave him my phone and asked him to take pictures of his siblings playing.
This works well for us because it gives the photographer something to do, it makes them feel important but also included and it often makes the other brother want the job so they end up switching after a while so they both take turns better. I’ve used this not only for times when they’ve been fighting over their sister but also with fights over building blocks; “Can you take some pictures of that cool thing he’s building?” Crayons; “Can you take a picture of your artwork so we can keep it for always?” Even fights over the Wii controls; “Can you take a cool picture of your brother playing the game?” I’d say it works about 80% of the time, the rest of the time they’re too tired or hungry to want to behave.
I’m not sure how long this will keep being successful but I’m happy that it’s working for now.
What about you, do you have any special way to deal with sibling fights caused by the need to share?