Do you find yourself playing one of these roles in children's lives when it comes to sibling rivalry?
- The Sergeant: "Do this, do that, be nice..." and rattling off commands.
- The Manager: Managing everything they do, making sure they make the "right" decisions.
- Referee: You blow your whistle and step in to break up a fight when it's getting too far out of control, and tell opposing teams to go and cool off.
- Judge, Jury, and Executioner: Siblings plea their case and wait for your judgement to be passed. The one who ends up winning the case is the one who can get the parent/guardian to believe their story, and thus they learn to be masters of deception.
- Raving Fan: You are your children's biggest fan and cheer them on from behind the side lines. "You can do it!"
- Coach/Mentor: You teach them the tools they need to overcome it, and allow them to apply those tools in their lives and experience the natural consequences of their actions. You are there to support them when they fall and you empowering them to reach their maximum potential. "I know you have it in you to be the best person you can possibly be."
Perhaps you relate more to one than the others, or you may experience them all. As a mother of four, I found myself operating on autopilot doing the best that I could do from what I knew. That usually consisted of the top four roles. But I didn't like playing those roles and I didn't like the results I was getting. I was experiencing distance, friction, sadness, resentment and so many other heavy and unpleasant feelings. I wanted to experience peace, joy, love, unity and connection in my home and a close relationship with my children. Was it too much to ask for them to like each other? Or even to go as far as being best friends? So... I set out to find a way that worked to get the results I wanted. I would like to share with you the secret I found.
Teach them that they are Powerful Creators, and no matter what has happened in the past, they have the power to create something different... as do you. Talk about something they may choose to create. Something as simple as happiness or love. Or introduce a new word to them and explain what it means, like: Connection, Unity, Courage, Trust, Forgiveness, Integrity, Acceptance, Honor (Depending on their age level). Look the word up in a dictionary if you want to in order to get a clearer definition whereas connotations change through culture over time. The secret to empowering them to create something different... something positive... is in the questions we ask them. Instead of telling them what to do, demanding, and asking them "Why?" questions. Try asking them questions like this:
- What are you experiencing? (sadness, anger, frustration, disappointment, Jealousy?)
- What does it feel like? How does it make your body feel? (heavy, pressure, limiting)
- Do you like that feeling? (They usually don't)
- How would you rather feel? /What do you choose to create? (Happiness, Peace, Love, Unity, Connection, Belonging)
- What could you do to experience that? / How can you create that? (Be nice, share, serve,)
By asking these questions to your children, you are drawing the answers out from within them. Knowing that they are powerful creators, and knowing they have a CHOICE is very empowering. Expect to see miracles! My children's book, You Are a Powerful Creator, My Little One: Creating Happiness is based on actual events of the first moment I taught this simple concept to my eldest son when he was 8. I continue to use this pattern with my children today. Our story can serve as a tool for empowering children, youth, and adult alike to be conscious creators in transforming family relationships from contention, friction, and rivalry to Unity, Connection, Happiness, and Love!
Author of You Are a Powerful Creator, My Little One
Monica Iglesias is a mother of four, a business owner, and a former high school teacher. She grew up in southern Utah, and has lived in Puerto Rico and France. The author currently lives in southern Utah with her husband and children.
"You Are a Powerful Creator, My Little One"
by Monica Iglesias