Kindness between siblings has not been easy lately. Actually, sibling rivalry is at an all time high right now in our home between my 7 year old son and 4 year old daughter. It’s a lot of saying and doing things to purposely hurt the other’s feelings or make each other mad (and lots of tattling too).
I know it is “normal” and there are lessons to be learned during and after it BUT it’s exhausting and to be honest I realized the way I was handling it was not working for us anymore. I needed a change. I realized that if I could change my focus, it would help me change my attitude and outlook as well as changing the overall vibe in the house.
The Marble Jar was introduced. Now let me just say that I’m sure this isn’t how the experts are advising Moms to handle the situation, but I needed something simple that would give a quick shift of the attitudes in our home (and hopefully help in the long run too).
Each time I “catch” one of the kids doing something thoughtful for their sibling or showing kindness to each other I ask one of them to put a marble in the jar. When the jar is full we are going to do something special together.
A few things came up right away and we needed these rules:
- Don’t ask to put a marble in the jar. I’ll let you know when I spot a “marble moment”.
- Don’t report a good deed that you did for your sibling. I’ll keep my eye out for “marble moments”.
The first few days I worked hard to “catch” them being kind and it has paid off (with both my attitude and their behavior). I love being able to point out and reward the positive behavior quickly and easily. This is a “Mother Approved” Idea!