Stone Soup for Five: Siblings Without Rivalry book

Siblings Without Rivalry book

I just got a new (old) book that I just started and let me say...

Siblings Without Rivalry is exactly what I needed to compliment Love and Logic and John Rosemond.  There are so many like-minded things all three of these have in common and it's so nice to have them repeated in slightly different ways so my thick skull can wrap around them.

The thing I really like about this book too, is it has comic book like sections that show "instead of..." comic blocks (which are almost ALL what we do around here) and then one that shows what you should "rather do...". 

My husband won't sit down and read a book on parenting, but he did read each comic panel I threw his way because they were quick and to the point.  BONUS!

See this panel?  We had a situation almost EXACTLY like this one come up.  

I blew it.  

I did NOT do the recommended suggestion (help him see his capacity for kindness) but instead berated him and got frustrated.

I got this book on for free, but it is also available on Amazon too.

And wouldn't you know it, but right after I sat down to read it for a bit, every single one of the boys had a meltdown.  When things were somewhat quieter, I asked them all to write for me what they were feeling and come out and talk to me.  My middle son (12 yrs old) was the first one out and he had written TWO pages with lots of BOLD print about how unfair everything was, how mean his brothers are, how abused and mistreated he feels, etc.

So I read through what he wrote, prayed silently while reading and then started in with the techniques.  I restated what he wrote: 

Me: So you feel abused and mistreated? 

Nate: Yes! I do! everyone is so mean and unfair...

Me: So you feel like dad and I are unfair to you too?

Nate: Yes! You make me do things that they don't do and then I get punished and they get off scott free!

Me: And you wish that you didn't have to take care of their things?

Nate: YES!

Me: Can you come to me next time and say that in a calm voice, when you feel that I'm asking you to do something that is their job?

Nate: Yes...

And I had him practice it, telling him the best way to start (with "I feel" rather than "That's HIS toy to pick up!"

I didn't try to defend myself or my actions, didn't try to fix anything or make excuses, didn't look away or raise my voice.  Just acknowledged his feelings and told him I loved him.


I don't know how he feels now.  It seems stupid that acknowledging his feelings and talking about how he feels and what he wishes would happen would have any affect on him, but we'll see.  I don't know what else to do, and we're still in mid-meltdown with the other two.

BUT I can see how this is accomplishing a few other positive things:
1- Empathy. That's a huge part of Love and Logic too. Empathize.
2- One on one time.  Listening, really listening to them and their hurts and feelings..
3- Relationship.  I've been praying that I can build and improve my relationship with each boy and I can see how just acknowledging that they are important and that their feelings are real (whether or night they are "right") is vital.

I know how far an understand and empathetic ear goes for me... even if the person listening doesn't offer to fix anything.

sheesh this parenting thing is hard!

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