In this episode, I have a conversation with podcaster and mom of two, Laura Max Rose, about our Mastermind Parenting WORLD CLASS sibling fighting tool.
I’m currently writing a book about this tool and this convo involves the latest and greatest way I’m teaching this life changing tool. As you know if you have more than one child, when your kids fight, it’s triggering and stressful.
This tool is also totally relevant for only children because there will be conflicts on playdates or with cousins and this will help you know what to do.
The sibling relationship can feel complicated for many reasons and this tool will help you see conflicts as amazing opportunities that’ll help your kids learn powerful conflict resolution skills that will benefit their lives for years to come. Enjoy!
As always, thanks for listening, and be sure and head over to Facebook and you can join my free group Mastermind Parenting Community, where we post tips and tools and do pop up Live conversations where I do extra teaching and coaching to support you in helping your strong-willed children so that they can FEEL better and DO better. If you enjoyed this episode and think that others could benefit from listening, please share it!
About Randi Rubenstein
Randi Rubenstein helps parents with a strong-willed kiddo become a happier family and enjoy the simple things again like bike rides and beach vacays.
She’s the founder of Mastermind Parenting, host of the Mastermind Parenting podcast, and author of The Parent Gap. Randi works with parents across the U.S.
At Mastermind Parenting, we believe every human deserves to have a family that gets along.
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My name’s Randi Rubenstein and welcome to the Mastermind. Parenting Podcast where we believe when your thoughts gro the conversations in your home flow.
I am back with a parenting coach Randi Rubenstein of Mastermind Parenting. And today she is here to talk about a book. She is writing so far untitled, but almost wrapped up. And she, and that book discusses in detail, the Sibling Fighting tool, which is actually a tool I don’t know anything about. So I’m about to hear about it from the first time, but I know that I can’t wait because all the information that Randi has given me around man, managing and handling my children, especially in conflict has been invaluable. So Randi go ahead and tell us about the Sibling Fighting Part
Okay. So the Sibling Fighting tool consists of four steps, and I’ll go back to you asked me, you said you and you were reading on the internet and some said, don’t get involved, you know, to help resolve the conflict. And some said, absolutely get involved. And what was my stance on it? And I said, well, if there’s any It safety is an issue, either emotional safety or physical safety, and you see it and witness it with your eyes, I believe you get involved, but there’s a certain way to get involved because you don’t want to be the judge and the jury, you become the judge, the jury, then your kids are going to be reliant on you for whatever, more to help them resolve their conflicts.
2 (1m 35s):
So we want to get involved in a way where we’re literally modeling for them and teaching them and training them how they’re going to be able to do this for themselves in the future. And so if there is violence involve, if safety is an issue, yes, you get involved and I’m going to teach you guys how to do it. And there’s lots of times where you barely have to get involved. If it’s really not. If safety is really not an issue or if its something that’s easily remedied. OK. So the first, the first thing that you do is what I call state, the obvious, the state, the obvious, and the way you do you handle it is you’re kids.
2 (2m 18s):
Or, you know, you walk in and out or you hear yelling, okay? And let’s say, you hear me yelling, let’s say your girls are a little older. Well, I’m going to say, I’m going to do it based on your girl’s ages. So what’s what, something that would typically happen where you know that, that, you know, your violet was playing with something, right?
1 (2m 40s):
The older one would take a toy from my younger one on the younger one would start crying. And the older one would tell me that the younger one had done something to her.
2 (2m 49s):
So you walk in and you hear crying. And then Selma says, well, what would she say? She, she did. She,
1 (2m 57s):
You say, violet took my toy away from me while she was holding the toy that she had just taken from violet.
2 (3m 2s):
Okay. So violet took my toy away from me and, and, and violet sitting there crying. And you look at her and you say, you look at both girls and you say, seems like we have a problem. We’ve got one toy and two girls that want to play with this toy. What should we do? What should we do you get
1 (3m 23s):
Them involved in coming up with a solution?
2 (3m 26s):
So stating the obvious is literally it’s like the dust factor. Like, not that that’s true. There is one toy. You have one child holding the toy when you have one child crying. So it’s pretty obvious that both kids to the problem. Yeah. Both kids wanting to play with the same toy. And so we’re just going to state the obvious. It seems like we’ve got a problem, girls. We got one, you know, one, one, one baby doll, you know, named, named Chrissy and to people that want to play with Chrissy doll, two to two people that want to play with the Chrissy baby, what, what do you think they should do? What did you think we should do?
2 (4m 6s):
And, and, you know, its going to be Selma who is going to probably look at you and you’re going to say, what do you think we should do? And she’s gonna just, if you ask curious questions, which, or what, or how questions, it literally puts the problem back on the other person to solve it. Right. CSO. So often we think as parents, like we have to have all the answers. We have to be the knowers of all the things and we don’t have to be the knowers, have all of the things. In fact, when we try to be the knowers of all of the things, our kids end up power or struggling with this because they want to be the knowers, have all of the things too.
2 (4m 47s):
They want to help. Right. And so, and so when you’re like, Hey guys, what are we going to do here? What do you think we should do? We’ve got two sisters and one Chrissy doll. What should we do? Anybody got any ideas? Okay.
1 (5m 3s):
And do you find that they usually come up with an idea like sharing are playing with it at the same time.
2 (5m 8s):
If you resist from being the judge and jury or lecturing and you truly, truly come from that place of curious questions stating the obvious curious questions. Cause there is no judgment here. Or like even when you hear some, you know, you hear violet crying and you come in, okay, you’re gonna, you’re gonna S you’re gonna just say, Whoa, Whoa, Whoa, Whoa, something’s happening. Something’s happening now. Not what’s happening. Something’s happening. Whoa, Whoa, Whoa. Something’s happening? That is, do you see how that’s neutral? Like if something’s happening or what’s, you know, it seems like we’ve got one weight in.
2 (5m 52s):
So if someone was going to immediately go into, well, she took my toy. She took my Christie away from me in bed. And you say, Oh wait, wait, wait, state the obvious. So we’ve got one Chrissy and we’ve got two sisters that want to play with it. Huh? What do you think we should do? So something’s happening? Whoa, Whoa, Whoa. When you hear something explosive that really actually just sort of stops you in your tracks because you now have something to say, instead of going immediately after the person who’s not crying. Right. So in your case it would mostly be Selma because, right.
1 (6m 34s):
So you said don’t be the judge or jury. I mean, I know from a a hundred miles away that she grabbed the doll out of her sister’s hand. So you’re saying, by not being the judge and jury, I’m not going to say that. I know that,
2 (6m 45s):
Well, you’re not going to lie, but the truth of the matter is what happened before she grabbed that, you know, what is she playing with the doll? And all of a sudden she got side-tracked because she’s three and she played with something else. Right. We don’t know. Like,
1 (6m 59s):
So let’s say, let’s say we do now. So just let’s say, we do know, let’s say we’ve seen everything that’s happened. And it’s pretty clear that one Sibling is not being very kind to the other one. Do we ever weigh in about that?
2 (7m 11s):
Yeah. I mean, well, this is what we do. So the, where we start is by stating the obvious and which is just like, The remember you guys is just the Duff factor. You’re going to say like exactly what you see before you, without putting a judgment on it, something’s happening, something’s happening. And it seems like we’ve got one toy that two people want to play with. What should we do? So what should we do? So state the obvious, follow it up with the curious questions. What and how questions, how are we going to solve this? What do you think? What do you think this solution is? What should we do guys?
2 (7m 51s):
Okay. So state the obvious, the second a helpful tip is if you go to the injured party first, so we typically go to the person who injured the other person, right. We’d go to, you know, because that’s, that’s our motto. Their instinct is kick it off.
1 (8m 12s):
Interesting. Yes you do. We want to like condemn, punish you do something wrong to this person. Yeah,
2 (8m 19s):
1 (8m 20s):
But really what you were asking, the person who’s crying, if they’re okay.
2 (8m 24s):
Right. Because, and this is a major, major pattern disruptor because we typically go after the child who hurt our other child. And even like, you know, even though we love them, both, we’re going to protect the child who’s crying. And so what we, instead of going, you know, of putting all your attention on the child, who’s doing the hurting, you put your attention on the child. Who’s been hurt the most. And, and so what we focus on grows, what we focus on expands. So when we focus on the hurting and we go into the lecture and you can just grab things and to have your sister is crying, you’re so much bigger than her.
2 (9m 7s):
You’re twice her age. You not to go over. Clearly she is here. What, why did you grab that from her? We share in this family, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And we put all of our attention on the child who did the hurting. And we talk all about the hurting. Well, guess what? We’re going to get more of in the future. We’re going to get more of the negative behavior. We’re going to get more of the hurting. If we put all this attention on lecturing, the child that did the hurting, then they just got a ton of our attention from hurting their sibling. And so with little kids really positive, negative attention, it doesn’t really matter all attention counts. And so now they just got a ton of our attention by hurting their younger sibling. They probably got us.
2 (9m 47s):
And so our instinct, our primal instinct kicks in where we’re going to want to go after the child that did the hurting, we’re going to want to seek justice. And when we do, we reinforce that negative behavior.
1 (10m 0s):
What makes sense to me? ’cause when a kid wants attention, they want any kind of attention. It’s not just positive attention. So I will notice like you wouldn’t, when Selma wants attention, she is going to grab something from her sister. I’m going to give her attention, even though it’s negative attention and the more negative attention I give her, it’s almost like the more she acts out. So I figured that part out, but I hadn’t figured out really what I could do in lieu of giving her that attention. And you really that’s the perfect way. I mean, that’s amazing.
2 (10m 27s):
Well, and, and, and so, you know, the thing is, is that, and none of this has done consciously by our kids. It’s just like, Oh, I was playing with that toy. I want it back my way of getting it back. Cause I’m just gonna grab it. You know? And we, you know, we lectured and lectured and lectured last time she did that, that she didn’t learn a new skill, a better way of getting the thing that she wants without grabbing it or hurting. Like she didn’t, we didn’t actually put our attention on a skill building. We put our attention on the admonishment. So all we’re going to get at is more of the, of more of that behavior that we talked to. We were blew in the face about, we’re just gonna go for the hurting more of a hurting. So if we focused on the healing or the way we do it, as we go to the injured party first, so you go in and you see that, you know, Violet’s crying and you’re like, Whoa, something happens.
2 (11m 19s):
I’m going to clearly happen. And Selma goes into her whole diatribe about it. And you’re like, Oh, it seems like we’ve got an issue. We’ve got, you know, one baby doll in two sisters that I want to play with it. What should we do? And as you’re doing that, you’re going to the injured party. Now, if, if, if a violent was knocked over face down and clearly hurt, you would immediately go to her and scoop her up and you know, and, and get her to safety basically. So you just go to the sow. If you are able to state the obvious before you go to the injured party, it’s just because it’s like, she might be crying and she might be whimpering. She might be frustrated. You might be mad, but she’s not actually hurt.
2 (12m 0s):
Okay. She’s not actually hurt. So, so, but as she is sitting there crying, and even as you’re doing it, if she is not, if she’s continuing to cry, you’re going over to her. You’re putting her on your lap. You’re whispering your, at your, your gently like stroking her cheek. And you’re saying, are you okay? Did you get hurt? Show me, how is it? Does it hurt somewhere? Or you
1 (12m 24s):
Tell me, sees this exchange and thinks that’s what I want. So I’m going to start crying when my mom leaves the room.
2 (12m 30s):
Yeah. So, so she’s not going to thinking that, you know, they live in the present moment. So she is really not thinking that far ahead of time. S so, so if she sees you, because when you’re disrupting the pattern by giving all this attention to violet, she may immediately start crying too. And if she starts crying too, as you continue, like, you know, making sure that Violet’s okay and as you’re making sure she’s okay, you’re calling Selma over and you’re like, come here. I haven’t, I have a need for you to, and you come and you, and you have her on your lap too. And you’re stroking them. Now, a lot of your, a lot of the way your calling this situation is really just non-verbally and just kind of stroking them and your legs.
2 (13m 17s):
And you’re like, it’s hard to be sisters. It’s hard to share all of our stuff. It’s hard to have a toy you want to play with right. When you want to play with it, and then your sister’s playing with it and figuring out how we take turns. This is hard stuff, girls, you’re figuring this out. And we all do things that, you know, we all make some mistakes and we’re figuring this out. Sometimes it’s hard for me to share things with daddy. I have to share my bed with him every single night. That’s the one.
1 (13m 45s):
Yes. Like replaying it back to us. Do you know what happens is when daddy takes my thing, sometimes I feel mad, mad, mad, or whatever it is. Sometimes daddy, you have to go to the bathroom, but the same time as me and I get so angry.
2 (13m 58s):
Yes, yes, yes. And that it happens with us. Yes. So If so you’re, so you’re pulling them over. And literally this is our way of being like, we’re not going to play the judge and jury, you pushed, you did this, you did that. Especially if we catch it kind of at the beginning, if you know, she just sort of grabbed it away and violet sitting there and she’s just frustrated and upset and you walk in and something happened and how can you state the obvious? And then you immediately go over to violate and you start stroking her and calming her down and, and, and looking in her eyes and saying, are you okay? Did you get hurt telling me what happened? Mommy’s here. You’re safe. I’ve got you. Do you need the BU bear?
2 (14m 39s):
You, you know, whatever. And you just, and then Selma, because she’s used to getting so much attention. She is you’re right. She is going to come over and try and be like, Oh no, this is not how this goes. And she’s going to pull, she’s probably going to pull out all stops. And as she tries to pull it all the stops, you don’t push the sister away. You you have violet right there. And you say, come here, I’ve got it. I’ve got a giant lab. I’ve got a room for both of you guys. Come here. I have two girls, both have you come here? Let’s I love it. You know, we we’ve got this. Now, if you start getting the real story, especially because this is all laid out in such a neutral, emotionally safe way, you know, little kids, they actually are, they’ll come clean.
2 (15m 22s):
So some of them may end up once she sees that this is an emotionally safe space and there’s plenty of mommy’s lap for both girls. She might say, well, I grabbed it. Or I took it because I wanted it. And you’re in your life. You really want to play with it. And, and, and, and you, you weren’t ready to give up your turn. And then you turned around and, and sister was playing with it and you wanted it back and you forgot, this is the next number three. Okay. This is positive. So we’ve had state the obvious is your first, your first call to action to state. The obvious is just the Duff factor. And then having the kids solve it on their own. The second thing, if we’ve got somebody crying or injured, we go to the injured party.
2 (16m 3s):
First, we focus our attention on the healing rather than on the hurting. Okay. So we go injured for, so it stayed the obvious in your first number three, when the talking starts, or we’re more ready to start addressing the child. That was more of the aggressor. We do something called positive intent. And that’s basically saying, okay, so you screwed up, but you’re not a screw up. Right. And so positive intent looks like, Oh, so you weren’t ready to give up your turn and you forgot the words to say, I’d like it back and grabbed it instead.
1 (16m 43s):
I love that. So even though they obviously did not forget, we’re painting that picture as though that would be the only thing we would ever assume they would do.
2 (16m 51s):
Well, you know what the truth is is she has, she has probably had reinforced that a pattern of when I want something in the moment that I want it, I’m just going to grab it or, you know, plow over my younger sister because she’s pretty easygoing. I’m bigger. And then mom comes in and I get all my mom’s attention, but I still got the thing that I wanted. And it all kind of works out for me. Like, that’s, that’s been, that’s been her method, you know? And so if we’re disrupting that, but if we want it to disrupt that method, you know, we really have to assume positive intent, which has really, she doesn’t have the skills to handle it in a more civilized way when she’s like hot and bothered. Because all of a sudden she’s like, wait, I wasn’t done playing with that for me now.
2 (17m 34s):
Right? Exactly. So she really did forget. She really was like, her brain is already been conditioned when I want something. I grab it away. I do the thing I know I’ve been doing to get the thing I want. And now by using positive and 10, you forgot the words to say, I wasn’t finished with my turn. Please hand, please give it back to me. Now, I’ll let you play with it in a little bit. You know, you forgot the words to explain to sister, you forgot that sister is so little that sometimes you can just grab another toy and say, who, how about if you play with this, I’m taking the Dolly back now. Thank you. Like you forgot all of these things that we have practice. And so you just grabbed it back.
2 (18m 14s):
You had an oops moment that happened sometimes and now let’s practice. What ha what you’re going to do next time when you wear the same thing happens in, you’re not done playing with a toy, or do you want a toy back? What are the words you’re going to say? Let’s practice now. Practice with me is
1 (18m 30s):
Beautiful. I love it. So is there a part for
2 (18m 33s):
Part four is just the fun. I call it at a boys, which is we’re going to reinforce all the training that we just did. All of this beautiful conflict resolution that we just did by, by celebrating. And the celebrating is just a way it’s sort of like when I, when you’re teaching a new skill and I go through this with like, like the moms and dads and my in my program, I’m like, it’s really important when we’ve accomplished something to take the time to celebrate and notice what we just accomplished because doing so is actually, it’s sort of like a report card. It’s like a measurement tool and it will solidify your progress.
2 (19m 15s):
So the attaboys at the end are, you’ve got both girls on your lap and you’re having a little hug. And you say, girls, I want you to look at me right now. And they turn around and you say, you know what? It can be really hard living with people. It can be hard being sisters and sharing your favorite things. And sometimes we’re gonna things like this, or we’re going to happen, and we’re going to have oops moments, but you know what? You girl’s just did. You totally figure it out a plan for next time and you, and you know what? We did this together. Cause we’re an amazing team. And we did this together and next time we’re going to handle it even better. You did that.
2 (19m 55s):
And you did that high five way to go.
1 (19m 59s):
I love it. It makes me feel like I’m just gonna come back and listen to this like a a hundred times. I mean, if I can tell you, and I I’m comfortable with this because I have a flawed human being that I have done almost the exact opposite of everything you just described in the last 24 hours, having another way. What’s amazing about young children and you can, I, I love your opinion on this is that they really adapt quite quickly. So we can do things, maybe the opposite way of PRODUCTIVE over and over and over again. But the second week is flip the script. They really do come around quite quickly. At least that’s what I have found.
2 (20m 33s):
Oh. Especially when you’re using all of these types of tools, because it feels so good. I mean, and when you, when you look at the positive intent, when, when somebody has messed up and they’re used to receiving negative from it, she’s not proud of herself for those moments. So now when all of a sudden she has you saying, all right, so you wanted to turn in, you forgot the worst to ask, we do this as you know what, we’re all human. We do. I have oops. Moments to you have an oops moment. It’s like, I like your sending her the message. I love you. No matter what I love you, even when you mess up. And so, so that feels amazing.
2 (21m 15s):
And then when we, when we do the attaboys at the end, where everyone gets to be like, rah, rah, go team. You did that. And you did that way to go. This is hard stuff. You guys are really growing up. Now that they’re beaming with pride, you know, it, it feels amazing. So yeah, there is, well, I’m going to do something. I’m going to keep this episode really short. It’s going to be just about 22 minutes long so that I know the parents who really need to hear it right now or at home quarantine where their kids and don’t have very much longer than that to listen to a Podcast. And I know I want to be able to come back and listen to it really quickly to hear this over and over again. And thank you so much for sharing this Sibling Fighting tool with us. We’re going to be my pleasure. My pleasure.
0 (21m 56s):
I’m listening to you guys. I’ve created it. My team has created the actual, if you’re ready to take your family from surviving to thriving, we’ve got something for ya. We created this amazing 30 day, very affordable Mastermind Parenting Crash Wars. So if you are ready to learn how to solve a problem, they were small with your strong-willed child. And frankly, anyone, if you’re ready to go and learn how to master the PRODUCTIVE combo, you’ve been listening to the podcast for a while. You’re reading the resources that we put out, but you would have found yourself, not necessarily taking action. It’s okay.
0 (22m 37s):
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0 (23m 17s):
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