Siblings Without Rivalry has been on my “to-read” list for months, and I finally sat down with a copy this weekend. The next day (yes, it was that good), I closed the last page of the book, full of new ideas but (as always) some feelings of inadequacy – I see great potential for the principles, but can I implement them?
I didn’t make any specific plans or goals, but found my morning playing out an example of one of the book’s key ideas: “Give children in fantasy what they don’t have in reality.”
My 4 year old daughter threw her smoothie to the floor shortly after breakfast. I asked her to clean it up, and she darted away.
“Ugh!” I groaned, “don’t you just wish you didn’t even have to get a cleaning cloth and wipe it up? You could just yell BOOP and it’d be all clean?”
She giggled as she came back, “yeah, and BOOP and the dishes were in the sink.”
“Yes!” I agreed, “and BOOP, they’re in the dishwasher, clean!”
We shared a laugh, and she ran to the kitchen.
“BOOP!” she exclaimed as she opened the drawer with the cleaning cloths, “BOOP!” as she wet one under the sink, “BOOP” for each and every individual dot of smoothie (yes, by this point I wished I’d chosen a less annoying sound, haha) she rubbed clean.
Our little game lasted another half or or so, the word popping up here and there as she completed tasks she didn’t really want to do (occasionally reminding me SHE wasn’t doing it, the BOOP did it for her). Morning chores were hassle-free, full of laughter instead of nagging.
I love seeing tiny changes in my perspective yield huge ones in her attitude!
Photo courtesy of Allen Goldblatt