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13 Ways To Raise Kids Who Love And Care For Each Other

13 Ways To Raise Kids Who Love And Care For Each Other

If you have kids, then you know that the fighting between them can seem endless. And while it may drive us parents crazy, it’s actually quite normal and healthy for siblings to fight. However, where is the line between ‘normal’ and ‘not normal’? How can you be assured that your kids will grow up and eventually get along? Here are 13 ways to raise kids who love and care for each other:

1. Start early – make good relationships a priority.

Even if you have teenagers, it’s not too late. However, if you have babies, toddlers, or younger children, you’re in luck. You have a wonderful opportunity to start early. Make sure you teach them the importance of getting along and being kind to one another. Model that behavior yourself, too.

2. Teach them to have a ‘We mentality,’ not a ‘Me mentality.’

Let’s face it – human beings are inherently selfish. It’s pretty much a survival mechanism. So what parents have to do is to socialize their kids out of the ‘Me mentality.’ Tell your kids that they are a team. In fact, the whole family is a team. Everyone’s actions affect everyone else’s. If you remind them enough times, it will eventually sink in.

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3. Demonstrate and teach positive ways to work through arguments.

First, look at yourself. How do you work through conflict with other people (especially the other parent)? Do you yell and scream at each other? Or do you sit down peacefully and work out your problems in a rational manner? Hopefully, it’s the latter. But if not, you need to start by working on your conflict skills. Once you have learned how to work through arguments yourself, you can teach your kids to do the same. Sit down with them and talk them through the process. Teach them that there are positive ways to ‘fight.’

4. Recognize and encourage all children when one of them accomplishes something.

Maybe Johnny won a basketball championship. Or perhaps Jane brought home straight A’s all year. Whatever it is, make sure that you celebrate all accomplishments. Have the kids congratulate each other. And even if one or more of the kids isn’t accomplishing as much as another sibling, you can still be positive and encourage them to try their best – and tell them that you are proud of all of them. They are all unique.

5. Teach them to respect each other’s personal space and possessions.

Personal boundaries are important to many people. And when boundaries are crossed, usually a conflict ensues. Teach your children that sometimes people just need to be alone. And if they want to borrow a toy or another possession, they should ask permission. They should not just ‘take’ from another person and assume that everything will be okay.

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6. Show how to give and receive an apology.

I’m sure we’ve all seen pathetic apologies from our kids many times. I know I have. You know the one: where they roll their eyes and mumble that they’re sorry. Make them look at each other in the eyes, speak clearly, and say, “I’m sorry,” over and over until you think they sound like the mean it. Then tell them that it’s easy to say those words, but when someone is really sorry, they change their behavior.

7. Consistently remind them that they are not the center of the universe.

Unfortunately, many adults don’t even know this. But if you teach your kids this simple fact early, it will help them get along. Everything will not always go your way. Sometimes you have to compromise. See #2 again about developing a ‘We mentality.’

8. Model good behavior yourself.

When I teach my communication classes and workshops, I always tell my audience to take a good, long, hard look at themselves. You can’t change what you don’t recognize. So you might want your kids to get along and love each other more, but if you are not showing them how to do it through your own actions, then they will never learn. Children model behavior more than they listen to your words.

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9. Never speak poorly of anyone in the family.

If you’re angry at your spouse, that’s understandable. It happens all the time. But if you go around and say negative things about him or her to your children, then that will teach them that it’s alright to badmouth people. Make sure your words about everyone are positive. Even if you’re pointing out something that needs to be changed, you can say, “I know you can do better.” Never, ever, model bad or critical language in front of your children.

10. Have them buy each other birthday and Christmas presents.

Sure, it makes more work for you to drive them around and pay for the presents. But it tells them that it is important to remember their siblings on special occasions. Christmas is not just about how many presents Santa Claus brings to you. It’s also about giving to loved ones. And so are birthdays.

11. Establish positive family dinner routines.

Having regular family dinners together helps children stay out of trouble as they grow up. It is a time for everyone to talk and communicate. So start a ritual where everyone goes around the table and says something they love and appreciate about other members of the family. That establishes the fact that everyone loves and respects everyone. Eventually, it will become a habit.

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12. Have them say, “I love you,” and hug and encourage each other.

Even if you don’t come from an affectionate family, it’s never too late to start the hugs and kisses, and saying, “I love you.” Saying hello and goodbye with a hug shows that you love and respect another person. And using words of encouragement also adds to the affection that is shown.

13. Remind them that after you’re gone, they will only have each other.

I don’t mean to sound morbid, but it’s true. If you are lucky enough to follow the natural order of things, the parents usually die before the siblings do. And once the parents are gone, they will be the only ones in the family left standing. Remind them that having a sibling or siblings is a precious thing, and that there is no one else in the world who shares the same parents. It’s something that should be cherished.

As I said in the beginning, it’s never too late to start teaching your children to love and care for one another. All it takes is some conscious effort on your part. But it’s worth it.

More by this author

Carol Morgan

Dr. Carol Morgan is the owner of HerSideHisSide.com, a communication professor, dating & relationship coach, TV personality, speaker, and author.

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Last Updated on September 16, 2019

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

More About Procrastination

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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