[This is the first of a series of posts for A Living Family online Book Club on the book Siblings Without Rivalry, by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish. Whether you are reading with us, have read the book already, or can't get your hands on a copy, please join the discussion!]
Consider the following (and please discuss in the comments):
According to the authors, the book Siblings Without Rivalrycame about after the chapter on siblings in their other book, How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk, became too big for one chapter. Faber and Mazlish, learned from their work that siblings and rivalry were a hot button topic among the parents with whom they spoke. Thus, this book came into being, after further research.
Wondering how parents were “coping with this heavy responsiblity” of nurturing both children, that “the embattled siblings might one day see each other as a source of pleasure and support,” they asked the following questions:
- Is there anything you do with your children that seems to help their relationship?
- Is there anything you do that seems to make it worse?
- Do you remember what your parents did that increased the hostility between you and your siblings?
- Did they ever do anything that decreased the hostility?
Through their work, Faber and Mazlish came to believe that “we, as parents, can make a difference. We can either intensify the competition or reduce it. We can drive hostile feelings underground or allow them to be vented safely. We can accelerate the fighting or make cooperation possible. Our attitude and words have power. When the Battle of the Siblings begins, we need no longer feel frustrated, crazed, or helpless. Armed with new skills and new understanding, we can lead the rivals towards peace.”
FOR the BOOK CLUB
Please take some time to take notes or jot down your thoughts about the above questions. When you are ready (and willing), please share some of your thoughts here so that we may learn from each other, grow together and move forward, collectively, as mothers and fathers and caregivers.