Dear Parents,

As we continue to navigate such an unprecedented time in our country, we are sure you are also navigating the various stages of managing life with your children home from school.  For many of us that also means having multiple children home during this time.  The idea of managing siblings confined in one space for an extended period of time seems impossible, but please be assured it can be done. The times we are living through are different than any we’ve experienced in the past, but they can be managed, and we will survive.

Sibling rivalry is normal between children of all ages and everyone with multiple children in the home (rather siblings or not) is dealing with some of the same concerns. Below we will explore the ins and outs of multiple children in the home and provide some small changes that can make BIG differences.

Remember…Stay Positive!


Somebody Come Get These Kids!

Managing multiple children in the home

  1. Family Plans
    • Have a family meeting
      • Set a weekly time to meet with your family
        • Make agreements and set expectations, making sure they are clear for all ages
        • Celebrate success…recognize what everyone has done well
        • Talk about feelings…especially at times like this!
        • Problem-solve challenges (let your children help think through solutions)
    • Manage Time & Schedules
      • Plan and review your schedule for the week
      • Try staggering the children’s schedules so that you can assist each child with their needs
  2. Charts and Boards
    • Use charts or boards for anything you want to make visible for you and your children (chores, feelings, behavior, screen time, etc.)
    • Use behavior charts to encourage positive behavior and interactions between children
    • Make sure you refer to and use the boards you create….CONSISTENCY is KEY
    • Phase-out charts and boards when you no longer need them
  3. Encourage Teamwork (sharing, taking-turns, celebrating others)
    • Talk about how everyone has a role (or something to do and a time to do it)
    • Encourage activities that promote sharing and taking turns:
      • Puzzles and board games
    • Celebrate each other’s work and when it’s time for taking turns
    • For sharing….If children are of similar age, having more than one of a popular item
  4. Managing Fighting
    • Watch patterns to see what causes fighting
    • Have interesting activities planned for your children that keep them engaged
    • Use Assertive discipline
      • Act Immediately, consistently and decisively
      • Don’t ignore problem behaviors
      • Choose consequences wisely
    • Use logical consequences
      • For example, if the children are fighting over the same toy/game, remove the toy/game for a period from the options
  5. Set Space Boundaries
    • Allow for age-appropriate privacy and space as needed
    • Encourage individual time:
      • For 0-12: nap time, listening to audiobooks, coloring
      • For Teens: Journaling, listening to music, resting


Source:  PIL Partner: Mecklenburg Triple P Cluster


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