Aside from daily survival, I think the greatest stressors for children and parents is sibling fighting. For the younger ones I will change the focus b stopping what I’m doing to cuddle up and read a few books to them. They calm down and then resume playing. Older children are given 5 minutes to work out a solution on their own. If they are unsuccessful, I intervene and my solution must be accepted without any modifications. If the argument involved name-calling or hitting, the guilty parties must write down three nice things they will say/do for the offended sibling.
Finally, if the argument is with me and I find myself too upset or frazzled to think clearly, I have the child involved go write down what is bothering him and what solutions he suggests. This helps him sort out the real issues and allows me to “listen” when I’m calmer and have the time to think. It works great! (Jane Kolf)
My children react to stress differently. My daughter becomes very quiet and withdrawn while my son acts out with aggressive behavior. They also differ in the things that upset them. changing sitters was traumatic for my son and not my daughter, but a seriously ill aunt was easier for my son to handle (probably because of his younger age and limites understanding.)
Although it may seem that my daughter’s reaction to stress is easier to handles, this is not really true. Since she tends to keep her emotions inside there seems to be cyclical period when she releases all her frustrations. During this time she will test me a great deal. I believe the built up emotions give her a feeling of chaos on the inside. It is therefore very important that I give her a sense of order on the outside by being very consistent with the rules. (Karen Sheehan)
As my children became teens and young adults I found a new stress in their lives: the expectations siblings have each other. Each child has their own unique personality. Some have high energy and some are slow. Some are argumentative and some are calm. Although I accept these differences as the way God mad them, I try to help “strike a balance” by teaching the quiet ones not to be intimidated by the more outspoken ones and the high achievers to get less annoyed with the slow ones. (Angie Collins)
Encouragement: A publication by Angela DicCicco and Gail Signor