To encourage siblings to resolve differences, communicate in a healthy and productive way, and develop relationships based on mutual trust.
If you have more than one child, you've almost certainly dealt with squabbling and fighting among siblings. As a parent, it can be incredibly frustrating to play "referee" as conflicts arise daily (or, in many cases, hourly!).
Next time your kids start bickering, resist the urge to launch into the same old ineffective lecture. Instead, encourage them to create a puppet show to strengthen their conflict resolution skills.
To prepare, use popsicle sticks or tongue depressors and construction paper to make puppets. Enlist the kids' help decorating the puppets with yarn, pens, crayons, feathers, or any other materials. Next, introduce them to the concept by talking about a recent argument and then helping them re-enact the conflict with a puppet show. Each child can play his or her own "part" using one of the puppets.
After the puppet show, ask the following questions to stimulate dialogue about the origin and resolution of the conflict:
Next time a conflict surfaces, remind your kids of what they learned from the puppet show and challenge them to implement those lessons.
Popsicle sticks, scissors, glue stick, crayons, pens, construction paper, felt, feathers, yarn, string, glitter, etc.
By acting out their conflicts with fun puppets, children will be able to remove themselves from the situation and view it more objectively. This activity is a creative way to encourage kids to develop empathy, problem solving skills, cooperation, an understanding of differences, stronger communication skills, and an ability and willingness to forgive. Puppet shows also help to make light of problems that can often seem insurmountable to young children.