Monday, July 30, 2012

Mothering Monday

Today I was reading a post by Lydia Will that made me sit back and think about things.
 Most of our summer days tend to look like those in this post.  We spend lots of time with family.  My father-in-law, cousins, brother and sister-in-laws. and I feel complete.
 There is no better feeling for me than to be surrounded by family.
I love that my husband and I can have this time right now to enjoy all of it!

However, there are some challenges when we all get together.  My niece and nephew usually come to visit for a good chunk of the summer.  They are fabulous and it is always so fun to see everyone pick up where they left off - no awkwardness - just back to the basics of having fun together.  EXCEPT.....that a couple of my kids argue over my niece.  Age wise she is right in between them so she looks up to my older daughter, but loves to play with the younger one.  My two girls have very different interests and are very strong minded - so when deciding what game to play or what scenario to play out in a pretend game, there is conflict and it usually ends in tears for one of them.  I am totally at a loss on how to handle this.....any ideas?


Victoria @ Mommy Marginalia said...

Wow, that's a tough one! My only thought would be to schedule a special activity with your older/younger one (alternating) so that the other can have time with her cousin. Maybe by doing something special with you, it won't feel like she's being taken away from her cousin? Just thinking out loud (or through my typing fingers) . . . good luck!

Donna said...

The only thing I could suggest is taking turns such as "this time you get to choose, so choose wisely because the next time it is her turn to decide what to do". Maybe give all three their own turn, that way the cousin doesn't have to feel like she is "siding" with one cousin more than the other.

Lydia said...

Growing up, a cousin came to stay with us as well, right smack inbetween my older sister and I in the age line up. There were struggles here and there, but for the most part we all played together. Mom encouraged us to make a plan each day and alternate activities so everyone got to do something that they enjoyed. There were still spats, but for the most part it worked!

Kate said...

This is a tough one. I feel they need to learn how to sort this out themselves rather than you telling them what to do. Maybe you could have a chat with both girls together and see if they can come up with a solution. Learning how to negotiate and conflict resolution are essential skills to develop as they get older.

Shan said...

I agree with Kate.

I have this same issue with my daughters. Overall, my general guidelines for handling it are:

1-the sister relationship takes precedence over the cousin (or in our case, friend) relationship, and
2-time is the best fix!

It can be uncomfortable for the cousin, more than for the sisters. More than once, I've had to watch the girls drive playmates away because the visitor is just too miserable being torn between them. This qualifies as 'natural consequences' but I just hate seeing it happen. Still - they learn!