5 Ways to get Children to Play Nicely Together
Include the Interests of Both Children
Sometimes there seems to be little remedy for children who want to do two completely different activities. Instead of letting this overwhelm you, think about how the activities might fit together. Let’s say one child wants to run laps in the yard (a dream for some parents) and the other wants to do fun tricks for gymnastic practice. Maybe the two can try a wheelbarrow race with some friends. This way both interests are involved and hopefully a meltdown can be avoided.
Explain Each Other’s Feelings When Upset
Often children will put the blame on each other for taking the other’s toy or being rude about not following the rules of a particular game. Teach your children to share how they feel when something like this happens instead of telling the other child what they’ve done wrong. This can save a lot of time arguing and helps the children to understand the situation from another point of view.
Let Them Be
While it may seem easier to just tell your kids what to do and when to do it, kids need to learn how to problem solve on their own. Instead of consistently jumping in to help sort out an argument, let it be and your child will figure it out. Unless there is physical violence and unnecessary taunting, it’s better in the long run to let your children learn things in their own way.
Special Area for Special Things
Children can get finicky about what are “theirs” and theirs only. This kind of attitude can often lead to fights about personal belongings and the specifics of these belongings. To avoid this unnecessary drama, designate a ‘special area’ for each child where his or her own items can be placed – less heartache for everyone!
Positive Actions, Positive Praises
Don’t forget to praise your children when a play date goes well. Often, play dates that end on a bad note get more attention than the ones that go amazingly. Praises will be remembered by your children and may lead to a better outcome in the future as well!