Here is another valuable parenting insight that we can use in our homes. 🙂
One of the roadblocks to harmony in family life is when siblings act foolishly and end up hurting or offending each other. Foolishness may be demonstrated by teasing and playing around beyond what’s appropriate or wanted. Usually one person wants to stop before the other. Angry words and tears often bring an end to what started out as fun. Incorporating a “Stop Rule” in your family will help children, and parents for that matter, know when to quit.
The Stop Rule is simply this: When a child wants to be done with a teasing or tickling game, that child just says, “Stop” and the other child must stop the game. Even parents need to stop when a child doesn’t want to be teased anymore. In fact, a good way to teach this rule is for a parent to tickle a child and stop immediately when the child says “Stop.”
Of course, to make this work, you as a parent need to be available to enforce the rule. When you hear one child say, “Stop,” watch and see if you are needed to step in to enforce the rule.
The Stop Rule teaches children the value of their words. When someone is relentlessly teasing, your child will know that his or her personal boundaries are being violated and want to seek help. This is a helpful rule for creating boundaries in relationships between siblings or playmates and it teaches children adult solutions for solving their childhood problems.
For more practical ideas on helping siblings deal with foolishness, consider the book, Say Goodbye to Whining, Complaining, and Bad Attitudes, In You and Your Kids by Dr Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller, RN, BSN.