If you have more than one child, then you have probably dealt with sibling conflict. Most of the things siblings argue about are petty, but they can cause resentment and hostility to build among children. My kids used to constantly argue about who would be first (even to use the potty!) so we started using a Kid of the Day system to bring more peace to our household. Over the years I have read tons of parenting books. A common thought in all these books is that parenting is easier if you already have systems in place to deal with various situations. I am going to show you how simple it is to have a system in place to Stop Sibling Conflict Before it Starts. Hopefully this leads to more peace in your household as well. Be sure to also check out 5 Ways to Build Your Kid's Self Esteem and How to Survive Having Your Kids Home all the Time.
I have no idea where I heard about Kid of the Day. It was either one of the parenting books I've read along the way or a parenting blog. We have been using the system for years and have made some tweaks that work for us. Adjust it for your family. You can use the Kid of the Day system if you have more than one child. If you only have one kid, they are always the kid of the day! I love how the Kid of the Day system takes a lot of guesswork out of parenting. You are not the "bad guy" saying no to your child or picking one child for a privilege over another.
How Kid of the Day works:
Pick a day to start. We start our week on a Sunday and assign one kid to be Kid of the Day on the day. Then switch another child on the next day. Once you start this, it just repeats itself over and over so no one feels like they had more chances to be kid of the day than anyone else.
We have a handy dandy chart that we use with initials that lets us all know whose turn it is to be Kid of the Day.
Privileges of being Kid of the Day:
So what is so special about being Kid of the Day? What do they get to do?
1. They get things first. For example, they are served first at dinner, get their choice of colored cups at snack (everyone else gets what they get), etc...
2. They get to go first when there is an activity, game or anything else where someone can go first. I spend one on one time with the kids most days and the kid of the day gets their time first.
3. They get to pick a video. My kids watch a short video while I prepare dinner. The kid of the day picks the video.
4. They choose the story before bed.
Obviously, you will personalize the program to meet the needs of your family. What kinds of privileges would you add to the list?
Surprisingly, the kids don't argue when the kid of the day gets to do something. They are often heard saying "when I'm kid of the day..." We have tried countless things that haven't worked, but Kid of the Day is something we have been doing for years. Why? It works. Does it solve all the sibling conflict issues at our house? No. Nothing short of Super Nanny (is she still around?) can do that, but it does prevent minor squabbles from occurring.
Some of our favorite parenting books that relate to siblings are:
For more parenting posts check out:
10 Tips for Surviving the Terrible Twos