Helping Children Live with Siblings

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Peaceful Sibling Relations

Though it cannot be guaranteed, one unexpected benefit of unschooling and peaceful parenting seems to be that children get along better with siblings. Here are some stories of peaceful sibling relations .

When Siblings Fight

Sandra, I remember reading a post of yours a year or so ago where you described how you handled it when your kids were fighting. Seems like it was mostly Marty and Kirby you were talking about. You had a way of helping the underdog not feel so much the underdog and a way to help the big dog not feel outnumbered either. A good friend of mine is really bothered by how much her kids fight and I wanted to send her the post but can't find it. Could you possibly describe how you referee your kids' fights? more

Comments and more ideas on "When Siblings Fight"

It makes me crazy when I hear a mom say "They need to learn to work these things out for themselves." It's such cop-out, and such disregard for both the underdog kid AND the bullying kid, who is learning clearly that he can get away with what he can get away with, and his mother isn't going to interfere because she doesn't know or care how to make peace.

But then what about families where the mom really doesn't know how to make peace? more


Podcast created by Amy Childs, with Sandra Dodd, Rose Sorooshian, Leah Rose, and others,
part of "The Unschooling Life" series at Unschooling Support (a site no longer available).

Responsibility for Siblings

I personally think it’s a big mistake to give a child the responsibility for their sibling, even if it’s only implied. more


Helping children share

The false charge of "bribery"

It's not uncommon for families to require children to take care of younger siblings, but it does suggest a situation in which that child is the powerless property of the parent. If a parent decides to respect the child's wishes and freedom and still wants him to sit with a younger child and read or play, the older child should be thought of as a free agent, another human. more

Peaceful Parenting Mindfulness

From outside the unschooling realm, consider this: Siblings Without Rivalry, by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish.

Someone proposed that I drop the recommendation of that Faber/Mazlish book from this site. This was discussed on the AlwaysLearning list here: Interesting issue; please advise. I think there's a misunderstanding or a translation issue or something going on with the unschoolers in France, and that it will be sorted out, but Pam Sorooshian wrote something that makes a great disclaimer for the recommendation on this page:
If you've already evolved past it—if doing things their way would be going backwards—then you're already past it and you'll know that. No harm done. If you are coming at it from a more controlling and demanding parenting model, then this will be a great step on the road toward learning to communicate more openly and clearly with your child.