I’ll never forget when we found out Annabelle was going to be a big sister to a little sister. Both Brandon and I knew we would be in for many years of bickering over toys, clothes, attention, and hopefully not someday… boys. We are only in the second year of the siblings’ relationship and already feeling the heat.
Annabelle and Ailey’s daily fight count changes depending on the weather/moon phase/day of the week. We try VERY HARD to diffuse arguments, separate them when they’re cranky, and to never instigate a disagreement, but there are days when it’s near impossible. For Christmas, the girls received a few books from their Grandparents to teach them to show kindness towards one another. I want to share the three books to help your kids to stop fighting that we’ve been reading daily.
Ailey is the most physical out of the two sisters – pulling Annabelle’s hair when she gets mad or occasionally bonking her on the head. “Little Dinos Don’t Hit” is a short, but sweet board book that gets right to the point. It’s about a little dinosaur with LOTS of energy – like Ailey – that hits instead of helping others in a variety of situations. We have been reading this book every day since Christmas, reminding Ailey of the most important lesson: Little Dinos don’t hit, they hug! I can honestly say I’ve seen her attacking Annabelle less, hugging her more, and reporting to her Mommy and Daddy when she is mad instead of lashing out. She still yells a lot when she is angry… so we might need to pick up, “Little Dinos Don’t Yell” soon.
Annabelle’s greatest downfall when it comes to getting along with her sister is not just a lack of patience, but more so her attitude towards younger children. Annabelle doesn’t understand Ailey is only two years old and sharing isn’t so easy when you’re a toddler. Annabelle says hurtful things to Ailey under her breath or sneakily takes her toys away if Ailey becomes distracted.
“Have You Filled a Bucket Today?” by Carol McCloud is an awesome book for teaching kids about how their actions can impact others. Annabelle is not only reading this in school, but we also talk about a bucket of kindness at home and how she can fill her little sister’s bucket up with happiness instead of dumping out her joy.
I just ordered “Sometimes I’m Bombaloo” by Rachel Vail to read with the girls because it was one of my first grade students’ favorites. The book is about a little girl, Katie, who whenever loses her temper with her little brother she turns into Bombaloo! I love how the story address the frustrations big siblings can feel with their little siblings and really think Annabelle will be able to relate to Katie.