- Sibling rough play and when to intervene
- Parenting: 1. Establish rules. 2. Repeat often 3. Follow through consistently
- Personal body boundaries and advocating for yourself
- Seeing the sibling relationship as an opportunity to teach conflict resolution
- Your family team
- Productive convos
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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.
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You’re listening to the Mastermind Parenting Podcast with Randi Rubenstein episode 61.
My name’s Randi Rubenstein and welcome to the Mastermind Parenting Podcast where we believe when your thoughts grow the conversation’s in your home flow.
Well, hi guys, how are you today? I have kind of a special episode, a different format. I wanted to share a Coaching kind of session that I had with someone recently. Basically I have some different ways that I work with people within my Mastermind membership. And right now I’m working with a couple and a program that I call Parenting on the same page. And so in-between our coaching sessions. We communicate on this really cool audio kind of voice texting app that I have.
0 (1m 5s):
And so we go back and forth and in real time, they’ll be able to tell me about something that they are working on or they’re struggling with or a situation. And I can weigh in and we go back and forth, back and forth on lots of different things. That’s a super efficient way to help someone really get on the same page with their spouse. And it’s just, it’s just a really cool way that I use in my coaching practice. So this, I got permission from this particular mom and it was about, she has two boys and there are eight and five and they roughhouse a lot as kids Do.
0 (1m 46s):
And I don’t want to say as boys do, because I’m about to read too, you guys, something that I got from one of the moms in my community that has two girls that or five and two and a half or so this seems to be a common theme, which is like, okay, I’m changing the conversation in my home. I, and we’ve definitely seen some improvements. And what about when my kids they’re playing, but I know my family used to call it moments away from tears. It was the game moments away from tier’s like we, the kid’s would start Roughhousing and my whole extended family, we’d all be sitting around and they would be playing and rough housing. And I think it was my brother that called it moment or two away from tears.
0 (2m 29s):
That’s the name of the game. So, you know, it’s going to that place. And also we’ve got to let them play, like they have their own relationship. So at what point do we intervene and how do we kind of set the rules for okay. Play and not OK. Play. And when do we get involved? And so I think these are all questions that are, that many parents are thinking about. So I just thought I’m gonna make you guys do a podcast and share what we’re working on. And So so I thought it was interesting because the mom brought it to my attention. So do you know, my boys are rough house a lot.
0 (3m 11s):
And so it just goes past the point. And so I kind of walked her through and I think it was, I walked through a couple through, in our, in our coach and our live coaching session. Hey, make sure to have a conversation at a non-relevant time about this topic, the first time that you introduced what the rules of the household are around. Roughhousing, it’s not when the Roughhousing and it’s gone to far, like you’re never going to accomplish anything when you’re in the, in the actual moments. So you got to have these productive conversations at a non-relevant time and really establish what the rules are.
0 (3m 52s):
So you can set the expectations in. Everybody can have a clear understanding what the expectations are, and then you are going to expect to Repeat often, and you have to establish a consequence so you can follow through consistently. So this mom took the information from that coaching session and she did just that. And then she left me a message, letting me know how it went and So, and it was a, it was during a time when her husband was out of town. So it was just her conducting this conversation with the two boys. And so I’ve thought it would be fun for you guys to listen to a real mom. And I also remember, like, I always say, perfect.
0 (4m 33s):
Perfection is not the goal connection is, so you’re going to put your own words in your life. It’s gonna be your voice. It’s going to be whatever makes sense to you, what your language and your manner of speaking. And it doesn’t need to be just perfect. It ju you just need to have the right intent, which is I’m getting this family on the same page, and this is the way it’s going to go from here on out. So I wanted y’all to hear like, from a real mom, how she handled it, and then my feedback on that and how I even told her to kind of continue the conversation and improve upon it. And, and so the mom in my mastermind, she had written to the group and she said, I’d love to hear from other moms who have children who Roughhousing and wrestle with each other for fun.
0 (5m 24s):
What kinds of conversations are you having about how to respect Sibling boundaries? So how are you teaching them to keep each other safe? So you don’t have to constantly jump in and over a parent with reminders and instructions. FYI. My kids are both girls five and two and a half, and are absolutely fearless when it comes to play fight to play fight. That’s I guess what they call it, they’re like fight. So I love that this came from a mom, a mom of girls, cause this isn’t just for boys. And I also want you guys to remember when we have these productive conversations and we’re really establishing the rules for what’s.
0 (6m 8s):
Okay. And what’s not okay. We’re also teaching our kids the concept of where your body is yours. And when you’re playing with someone and it starts to hurt, this is how you advocate for yourself. It’s not okay. This is how you speak up. And I think this is a really important conversation and, and a really good example for us to show how we can start teaching our kids to be part of this solution in terms of protecting their bodies, how to touch other people’s bodies. And, and I want you all to see that the Sibling relationship is a perfect place to start this conversation so that your kids are trained from a very young age or your girls are trained and your boys are trained.
0 (6m 59s):
Hey, that doesn’t feel good to my body. So this is how I speak up and make sure that I am heard. And if your not going to listen to me, I’m going to go to somebody a grown up or somebody that’s in authority and let them know that there was a boundary crossed it. Wasn’t okay. You touch my body in a way that hurt. And that was not okay. Should we start giving our kids language in this way, right around something that like Roughhousing with your Sibling and we’re teaching our boys about, you know, touch and their bodies were teaching our girls’ how to advocate for themselves. Oh, that didn’t feel good.
0 (7m 40s):
That’s not okay. You’ve crossed a personal boundary. And so do you all see where this ties in? For when our boys and girls get older, let me just say Kavanaugh case. Like as our girls and boys get older and they become teenagers, they have been trained from a very young age, how to advocate for themselves and, and how their bodies will be touched or not touch it. And even though it’s not obviously the rough housing piece is it has nothing to do with anything sexual. We’re giving our kids the language and we’re teaching them about boundaries when it comes to our bodies. Like so freaking powerful and important.
0 (8m 22s):
So important. So I just wanted to kind of tie that in and show you guys, like, I think so many of us like, Ugh, are my kids are fighting a gun, or like, this is a thorn in my side. And when we shift our thinking about it and we realize are home is the training ground to teach these bigger concepts like about personal boundaries in terms of how someone else has allowed to touch your body and how you’re allowed to touch other people’s bodies and how you advocate for yourself. Right? We teach conflict resolution in terms of these Sibling fights, verbal and physical. We’re teaching our kids how to walk on the, go walk away and cool off how to speak up for themselves, how to do it in a civilized manner.
0 (9m 8s):
Like all of these skills literally are going to set them up for a life, to be those kids that don’t get taken advantage of and don’t take advantage of other people. So I’m super, super important and hope you guys enjoy this episode
2 (9m 26s):
Errands out of town. And yesterday, when I came home from work, sat the boys down in my room and I basically had the conversation that you suggested. And I said, look, guys, there’s been way too much fighting going on in our house. We can’t have it anymore. It’s getting too rough. People are going to get hurt. And, and we, you know, I basically just kind of repeated everything he said, set to say, it was like, we we’re a family, we’re a team we need to be getting, we need to get along. You guys are buddies, your friends, your first echo Brooks, who was your first front. And he goes to Jack. And it was really funny because they were taking this conversation really seriously, actually.
2 (10m 9s):
And I was like, you know, we need to have, we need to have a word if were just playing around and wrestling. So they decided on tap out or mercy. And so those are, are safe words if we’re wrestling, when we need a break, but we also had conversations like, okay, you know how you guys, or whatever, how this has been going on. And it’s dangerous. And people are getting heard and you guys are just fighting too much. We can’t have it. It’s bringing too much, you know, commotion and stressed our family. We want to all get along. And we want to have a peaceful house where we’re not fighting all the time and, and a happy house. And, and Brooks goes the golden.
2 (10m 49s):
What do I do when Jack is making funny faces and me and I go, okay, well, great, good question. I was like, will you tell me? So when he’s being annoying and you feel like the way to deal with it is to hit him, what could she do instead? He’s like, Oh, I don’t know. I’m like, well, you could, he’s like tell him stop. And I’m like, okay, fine. But what could you elaborate on that more? What could you say more? Like, could you say to him, Jack, I really don’t like it when you make funny faces at me and it’s making me upset and I’m getting angry, you know?
2 (11m 31s):
So I said, Brooks, why don’t you try saying that? So that it kind of repeated It and then Jack was like, with Brooks, you know, Brooks does this. And I’m like, well, Jack, what could you say? And so I kind of like tried to guide them into what they could say instead of just hitting each other, like animals. And they both seem to kind of get it and we didn’t have any fighting in the rest of the night. So we’ll see how today goes. I may have to remind them, but I think it was a good conversation to sit down and like, have that conversation. So Aaron wasn’t there for it, but that was fine. And let’s see how it goes.
3 (12m 11s):
I just want it. If you have it, if you didn’t spell it out, I want you to spell out
2 (12m 16s):
That, you know, If,
3 (12m 19s):
If the safe word has been used and things are heated and it started to feel violent or dangerous and not team-like and not loving for fun, then they will be separated until everyone’s calm. Because when we’re calm, we could figure anything out and look, brothers, sometimes things get out of control. It’s going to happen. You guys it’s going to happen. Sometimes we’re playing and it gets too far when that happens, because we are not going to be a fighting family anymore. We’re not going to be violent. We’re not going to use angry, violent words towards each other. We are not going to use and greet a aggressive hands. I’m gonna separate you guys in that may mean, or we’re going to go to separate rooms and till you have cooled off and we can talk.
3 (13m 4s):
And y’all just, I know now, like you all know we are going to just have to practice a lot. I’m feeling angry. I don’t like it. When you do this, please stop doing this. I don’t want you to touch. Like we’re going to have to be practicing, do use our words. And so sometimes when you get really heated and really angry, it gets passed the point and you just have to separate and go just cool off. And then when y’all cool off, this is what families do. We come back and we can talk about anything and everything. And then we’ll come back and will say, Hey, but I didn’t like it when you did this, or I don’t want you touching my things, or you need to ask, if you want to turn, or you got to rush, and then you heard me, it hurt me when you were wrestling.
3 (13m 45s):
And you did that. You got to ref, like we can use our words guys. And when it gets rough, I will be separating you guys. And till you cool off, and then we can come back and we can talk like civilized people and people that love each other, rather than like, you know, animals trying to attack each other. Got it. That’s the deal. So there’s going to be times where I may, if it gets there in this day, I’m going to use a safe word of mercy. And if it, so it’s, it’s angry, I’m gonna be separating you guys. And it doesn’t mean I’m sending you to your room forever. It means I’m just sending you to separate spaces to go cool off so we can come back and you guys can talk to each other, like brothers that love each other.
3 (14m 27s):
Got it. So just let’s let’s, Establish what that consequences. If it does get to that place, should it, when you have to separate them, it’s not like they’re hearing that for the first time. Cause we know it’s going to take awhile to retrain this, but now at least you have the rules established. Right? And you’re gonna explain it. Remember that you’re going to see them wrestling. You can see them fighting. We’re going to see it getting hit. You guys remember the safe word? What happens when you woke up timeout for a sec? What happens if we hear the safe word that’s right, right. The minute the funds over an hour and any anger starts, it’s done. Got it. Safe word.
3 (15m 7s):
Remember the safe word. And then when it comes, you’re going to go, Whoa, done separate. We need to take five. We need to take five. Everyone needs to go chill out and cool off. Or when it gets crazy, we’re going to, we’re going to separate and we’re going to cool off. And then we’re going to come back and we’re going to be using our words. And it’s okay to say, I am so angry right now. I’m so mad. I you know, you’re annoying. The I’m so annoyed. I’m so frustrated. Like, what are you feeling like really? God, I love that. You all role-played, that it was brilliant. And I love you helping them put words to them, motions that they’re feeling that it was so freaking healthy.
3 (15m 50s):
Let me just tell you So healthy. Like if all a little boys could have balms that knew how to step into pack leadership and truly teach them how to name the emotions they’re feeling in their body. Like what a better world we will live in honestly were like, that’s the reason that is a reason why we have boys grow up and, and they have no clue what the hell they’re feeling inside their bodies. So are you doing this with them right now? And not only is it going to bring you more peace to your household? I just want you to know, like you are training future men that we all want our daughter’s to marry, honestly, like, you know, that sounds dramatic, but it’s frigging true.
3 (16m 30s):
1 (16m 33s):
Hey podcast listeners. If you happen to have a strong-willed kid who is kind of pushing everyone in your buttons lightly, I have a resource for you. I made you guys a free diet where you’re going to get some tools and tips and strategies to quickly get on the road to creating a happier household. I know you’re pulling your hair out. I wanted to make you something so you can start giving some quick wins and building some momentum. So if you want to grab your copy, just go to Mastermind Parenting dot com forward slash Free Guide and you enjoy it.