The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on May 26, 1998 · Page 7
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 7

Salina, Kansas
Issue Date:
Tuesday, May 26, 1998
Page 7
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THE SALINA JOURNAL PARENTING A7 T SIBLING RIVALRY .,_. . . .. Photos by Scripps Howard News Service Christina Mure, 3, is warned by her big brother Alex, 7, not to play with his stuff and to get out of his room at their home in Bremerton, Wash. He hit me first! What parents can do when siblings square off against each other Bv SUE EDWARDS ^ ., .^^.^^ares/a-a^iai^^^a^eggBB viniit onit ,,,v,;i^ „„ „»,.,;„„ „ <.„„. By SUE EDWARDS , Scripps Howard News Service BREMERTON, Wash. — "He 'hit me first!" This is the all-too-familiar bat"• tie cry of the child at war with a sister or brother. It demands the parents' attention, puts the ..blame on someone else, whines 'poor-little-me and provides an excuse for retribution. No wonder it's such a popular line. ... On the other hand, it might be the distress call of a child who is the perpetual victim of an older, bullying sibling. - Meanwhile, the beleaguered ^parent is trying to figure out !;• what caused the dispute, whose -: fault it is this time and what, if anything, to do about it. , Surprisingly, most authorities agree that fighting and rivalry among siblings is perfectly normal and mostly healthy unless it gets too violent. Kids really like to fight even if it drives Mom and Dad crazy. It's their way of testing and developing their competitive skills for use outside the family and for finding their niche within the family. Donna Moore of East Bremerton, Wash., who has three children — Alex, 7; Jennifer, 5; and Christina, 3 — says she gets caught up refereeing even ; though she knows it's best to try to let the kids sort out differences themselves. "The boy gets along with either girl pretty well, but the girls fight with each other and when you put all three together, well, •Sometimes it's a free-for-all," •Sjays Moore. Gender, age difference and a .sibling's position in the age or- $er are all determining factors 'too. Most experts agree that same-sex children, spaced closely together, have the most difficulty getting along while oppo- Alex helps his younger sister, Jennifer, 5, In-line skate down a driveway at their home. site-sex children a few years apart perceive each other less often as rivals and tend to get along better. Authorities also agree that rivalry is about power and stature among siblings — how they achieve it and what methods they use to hold onto it. The behavior patterns they develop are often carried into adulthood and are used to compete for jobs, attract members of the opposite sex and get what they want out of life. One expert called it "an apprenticeship for life." An assessment of the types of manipulative maneuvers siblings are using is a useful tool for parents. It gives them a good idea of each individual child's "game plan." "Mom Loved You Best," a book by Drs. William and Mada Hapworth and Joan Rattner Heilman, outlines 18 types of maneuvers or styles kids use. Here are some examples: Manipulatjve maneuvers • Rejection Ruse: makes the other kid feel what they do is not even worthy of acknowledgment; used most by older siblings. • Goody-two-shoes: infuriates other siblings by being the parental "helper" while others play so gets a double bonus by receiving parent's positive attention as well. • Sickly syndrome: child has real or imagined illnesses that demand parents attention, frustrates siblings because they can't retaliate against this type of domination. • The Intimidator: the bully, usually an older sibling, who uses size and power to get what he/she wants; most often the cause of sibling abuse. • Mea culpa Maneuver: the kid who "accidentally" spills something on his big brother's new suit while carrying a tray for Mom; 'he always apologizes for what he's done but things keep happening, usually while he's doing something "good." • Big Baby: usually the youngest; whines, complains, cries, pouts, stomps, and has tantrums to get own way and constant attention. • Paranoid Plotter: Never takes responsibility for actions, always blames others usually a particular "target" sibling. What can parents do to help themselves and their children through sibling rivalry? Elizabeth Crary, author of "HELP! The Kids Are At It Again," says kids need to learn to trade, wait, or negotiate instead of fight. Crary proposes what she calls the STAR Parenting concept: Stop and focus on what you are doing; Think of ideas to deter from fighting; Act effectively, don't just react; Review and Revise what you are doing. Rules for parents Louise Bates Ames, in her book, "He Hit Me First," describes some rules for parents to help them keep their sanity while dealing with sibling rivalry and fighting: • Keep in mind that most siblings fight a good deal and, for the most part, enjoy it. • If it bothers you, stay if possible in another part of the house. • If one child is getting physically harmed, separate the children. • Don't allow yourself to be habitually dragged in as judge. • Try to take a long-range view; most siblings get along better as time goes by. • When you are called into an overcharged situation, use simple solutions like separation, something else to do and space and time away from each other. T DAY CARE . A son, Brandon Barron, was born April 4, 1998, to Dwayne and Erin Nisbeth of Farmington, N.M. He has two siblings: Tara, 12, and Aubre, 10. Grandparents are Ilene Seas of Selden and Sylvia and Ray Skanks of Bennington. • Great-grandparents are Ilene Hoxworth of Aurora, Colo., and Goldie Spurgeon and Dolores Nisbeth of Bennington. • • • A daughter, Haylee Grace Graves, was born May 4, 1998, to Lonnie Graves and Rachel Hendrix of Solomon. Haylee has a sister, Sydney, 2%. Grandparents are Cynthia Saylor of Abilene and Bill and Kathy Hendrix and Darline Hill, Salina. * * + : A daughter, Brooke Renee, was born May 12, 1998, to Salinans Matthew and Crystal Parnell, 648 6.12th. - Grandparents are Salinans David and Becky Dyke, 2944 Tasker, and Chuck and Mavis Parnell of Divide, Colo. • • • A son, Matthew Brian, was born March 2,1998, to Brian and Rebecca McDonell of Olathe. Grandparents are Howard and Mary Hopwood of Melbourne, Fla. Great-grandparents are Armand and Wilma White of Salina. News You Can Use ^Salina Journal TUE.-THURS. (*12:45-*1:30-*3:30-*4:15)6:15-7:00-9:00-9:45 You Have CHOICES In Health Insurance John 827-9099 Ol EMPLOYERS SAVE MONEY Improved or Equivalent Benefits Call The Experts In Employee Benefits I od & ALSSOC. 18009210085 Child-care workers receive little respect Not everyone has the skills to watch over unrelated children One of the down sides of family day care or any day-care job is the job title. It carries with it $ little if any re- JUDY spect. It's a job which has too of- LYDEN ten been described Scripps Howard as one "anyone Afe ""f n "' ce can do." Yet the * care of unrelated children is something most people can't do — well. One beginner provider I know, trained in Montessori no less, couldn't wait to get into her newly procured job. When she found out what it was really all about — on the job — she screamed out in a hormonal gush, "I can't be in a room with all those children. I can't relate." After shrinking from the job for a few months, she retired forever to work with adults. Career providers laugh at such silliness because career providers have no illusions about what it takes to care for large groups of someone else's children. They have no illusions about the difficulty of the job and the real rewards of working with very young children. They understand that criticisms and biases come from outside the work rather than inside it. More than 'baby-sitting' "Occupation?" called the clerk. "I take care of children," Emily said. "Do you work?" demanded the clerk. "I'm a family day-care provider." "Baby-sits," said the clerk and wrote it down quickly on the form and handed it to Emily. "I baby-sat when I was 12," complained Emily to her husband. "And I probably make more money than she does." In the next year Emily thought a lot about careers and when she found herself in front of the clerk again, she was ready. "Occupation?" "Research associate in the field of child development and human relations." The clerk paused, pen frozen in midair, and Emily stared with wonder as her pompous pro : nouncement was written in bold; black ink on the official form. "That sounds interesting, what do you do?" Coolly, without any trace of fluster in her voice, Emily heard herself reply, "Mostly laboratory research. It's very demanding. I often work 14 hours a day." An increasing note of respect entered the clerk's voice as she completed the form, stood up and personally ushered Emily to the door. Emily returned home emotionally buoyed by her glamorous new title. She was greeted by her lab assistants — ages 1, 2, 3, 4, 5-year- old twins 6,7, 8 and the new experimental model (6-month-old Egore) in Emily's child-develop*- ment program. Whether a provider calls herself a child-development researcher, teacher or a baby-sitter, career child-care providers provide an indispensable service to working parents — they take over the daily chores of rearing children hour upon hour; they step in for the parents in their absence. That in itself warrants a great deal of respect. Think about what it means to help rear the future of the world — your world — and do it well, then treat your child-care provider as if you believe it matters. Judy Lyden operates and teaches at a preschool in Evansville, Ind. CARROL HAMILTON! Roofing Company Since 1962 T\ Restaurant RIB Includes salad and choice of potato. EAK Free Estimates, All Work Guaranteed f.000-864-4637 • 785-452-9224 Toll free 1.888-825-5280 • Home Awnings • Carports • Business Awnings • Lateral Arm Awnings • Entrance Canopies • TSrps, Sun Shades • Patln Covers • Livestock Curtains Free Estimates ,. ,«,„,- , D1 , , 1100 \V. Grand Bldg. I Salina, KS (913)825-5280 • Cherry Limeade • Cherry • Lime • Strawberry Daiquiri Hawaiian Punch • Raspberry LA-Z-DOY Great Selections, Great Styles, & Great Values throughout the store! Sofa Only "DREAMTIME" RECLINA-WAY'FULL RECLINING CHAISE MOTION GROUP! •pPPP"T>'% . .. .~ mui iwn uitwui : V\JL) Smooth curves and deep Only faJt/i-/ cushioning create a comfort 'Ashley" An appealing zone with great looks. Dual fully reclining end seats offer full body relaxation. The unique back treatment and soft pillow arms are doubly soothing! Only '479 transitional style Reclina-Rest' recliner that welcomes with the promise of deep comfort. "Dreamtime" Eye-catching, boldly styled Chaise Heclina- Rocker or Reclina-Wa.v wall chair with unique channcl- sl itching on back. Moii.-l-Vi. «»-fi-.:SO III S. S:nu:i I-V - M;iliuit, IvJ-i «... .»_!-„..,«. VS5 S27000.7 i

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