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  • 4. When your kids don’t play nicely, separate them.
    Ms. Maribel Dionisio, MA, a parenting and relationship expert and co-founder of the Love Institute, during her talk on bullying at the recently held Family Congress, told participants that when her children used to fight with each other, she would put them in different rooms until they decide to be nice to each other.

    Kids usually would not want to lose a playmate, but if they do continue to squabble, follow through with your “threat” and separate them as needed. Tell them to think about their actions while they are away from each other.

    5. Teach them to respect each other’s property.
    When the reason for sibling squabbles is toys or things, it may be best to, first and foremost, teach them respect for property. If your kids share a room, designate certain “individual” spaces for each child and then a “common” space. Allow each child to decorate their respective spaces and store their own items there.

    If a sibling wants to borrow or use a certain item, he or she should ask permission first. Items or things placed in the “common” space are “free for all,” meaning any sibling can use them as they please, even without asking for permission.

    Remember, too, that respect begins at home. Teach your kids to respect others by first practicing respect with their siblings.

    6. Encourage your children to take turns.
    This can be done while playing and even in other things, like choosing what TV show or DVD to watch, or what dessert you will serve after dinner. Learning to take turns can help “diffuse” conflicts even before they start. Remind them that to “give and take” is a good attitude to adopt — one that will be of benefit to them even when they are grown up.

    7. In the case of the birth of a new sibling…
    Help avoid the stirring of resentment among older siblings by preparing them for the arrival of their new brother or sister. Talk to the older kids about your new baby, show them the baby’s ultrasound pictures and read children’s books about siblings and preparing for a new baby. Most of all, remind your older kids that each of them (your kids) is unique and special and dearly loved, no matter what happens.

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