When I grew up, I participated in many sessions of “sibling practice” with my sisters. It was during these times that I learned invaluable lessons that have helped in many future relationships, as well as in relationships with my siblings. I wanted to share my experience in hopes that it helps another mom out there.
Growing up, when my mom caught us fighting as kids, we were assigned “sibling practice.” She would find a game for us to play together, and then set a 15-minute timer. During this time, we had to learn to communicate kindly with each other, or the timer was reset. It was also during this time that my mom would prompt certain questions, like “I feel _____ when you _____.” We were not allowed to blame the other person for our feelings or actions, but we were encouraged to speak and communicate how we felt.
If the 15-minute timer was up and my mom felt that our “issue” was still not resolved (or if we were refusing to communicate, giving the silent treatment, yelling, etc.) she would either assign another game or give us a chore to do. I actually remember playing a game being worse than a chore because you actually had to communicate more to play the game and it was oh so painful but oh so beneficial to learning how to work out issues with other people.
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If you give “Sibling Practice” a try, I would love to hear what you think! I for one, will never forget those experiences!