Well - this is a topic I have steered clear of so far. I have been asked a LOT to talk about discipline and I have avoided it like the PLAGUE! It's such a personal topic. And I can guarantee that no matter what I write on this post - at least half of you will disagree with me.
But I think one of the most important roles in parenting is discipline and guidance. It starts early and it's so important that you work hard and stay consistent when your children are at a young age. As they become teenagers - it can be too late to start disciplining.
I also hate talking about this because my children are 2 and 4. What do I know? I cringe when I hear parents of one newborn doling out parenting advice. So I know any of you with older children probably hold in a giggle and cringe when you hear me talking about anything like this.
I also think every child is different. What works well with one child does not always work for another. I think more than anything the main thing is consistency. And combined with a LOT of love and a lot of prayer. I know amazing, Godly parents who have raised their children exactly the same and still had a child who rebelled. I don't think anyone has the perfect solution. I think even if you do have the kid who strays - you just have to continue to love them fiercely and pray, pray, pray.
For me, Harper was TOUGH to discipline when she was about 2 to 3.5. She threw constant fits and was strong willed. She still has moments but overall right now - she is just a joy. She minds well, is so kind and shares (for the most part) with others. She says "yes ma'am" and "no ma'am" and just obeys better than I ever imagined she would 2 years ago. That gives me a lot more patience with Hollis.
Hollis is in that TOUGH stage now. Overall, she's a sweet little girl but she has her moments.
I'd say our biggest struggle is the fighting. OH the fighting. I usually deal with it by separating the girls into their respective rooms. They hate that but it usually calms them down.
I've also found that taking away something they like as punishment works better than almost anything. Harper likes to watch a movie on her ipad at night but if she has behavior issues, she gets that privilege taken away. Or Hollis loses her purse. ha!
I also try to do as much positive reinforcement as I can. I praise them for good behavior and they love that.
I talk to them and explain why their behavior is wrong and why there must be consequences. I HATE disciplining. I hate getting on to my girls. I wish I could just give them anything they wanted and for them to always "like" me. But that wouldn't be the loving thing for them. In the long run, I want them to be kind and thoughtful adults who others will enjoy being around.
I'd love to hear what your "creative" ideas are - especially for sibling rivalry. I realize that is probably never going to go away but some days it just wears me out.