PUSHING BUTTONS

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There’s nothing like a sibling to know how to push the buttons of another. I watch my kids and those from other families and see how little it takes to cause a reaction.

When I see one if my kids having a meltdown over what a sibling has said, an unkind gesture or just a face being pulled, I wonder when they will ever learn to ignore it and walk away. I try to let my kids work out things between themselves as I believe that learning how to deal with conflict is a rite of passage, if you like, a benefit (for want of a better word) of having brothers and sisters. Although it is calm in a household with a single child, this exposure to conflict and it’s subsequent resolution is something to which an only child doesn’t get much exposure.

I constantly counsel my kids that often the whole purpose of the jibe is to get a reaction and the best way to get back at their sibling is to not react at all.

As much as I hate doing it, there are occasions where I have to intervene because the teasing has got out of hand and boundaries have to be maintained. Unfortunately it normally takes two to tango and so the end result is both kids dealing with the consequence of their behaviour, leaving them both feeling wronged by their punishment. The positive side to this is that they become united at least, in mutual annoyance at me!

My kid’s school teaches ‘GOMO’ (Get Over it, Move On) and so I am often found calling out this acronym at the top of my voice to prompt my kids to let bygones be bygones and get on with enjoying life.

Don’t get me wrong – there are times when I completely understand the way the kids feel and find myself compelled to stick out my tongue, put up my middle finger and call them all sorts of rude names, but at least I have managed to master doing all those things in my head, or at the very least under my breath!

(Photo courtesy of freedigitalphoto.net)

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