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Sibling Rivalry

HAPPIYOUNGSTR

Sibling Rivalry

HappiFamli, Senior Sibling Correspondent

April 10, 2018

Any parent with more than one kid can relate to this topic. Some days our kids act like best friends and others they try to kill each other. What can we do to ensure less of the latter? Read on!

Any parent with more than one kid can relate to this topic. Some days our kids act like best friends and others they try to kill each other. What can we do to ensure less of the latter? Read on!

There’s a natural tendency to want to compete with your sibs. They compete for parental attention and affection, and they compete to just be better at doing things. There’s also a tendency to compare. He got more than me! She does that better than I do!

Every child wants to be seen, heard, and understood. Take time to acknowledge and validate their feelings, and then teach them how to express those feelings in an appropriate way.

“Who do you love more?” is a question that parents often get asked by their children. Rather than quickly exclaiming, “I love you both the same!”, try explaining what it is you love about each of them as individuals. For example,

““You are the only YOU in the entire world! No one else has your smile, your laugh, your eyes, your heart. I am proud of you for always being kind to others and for always trying new things. I love that you are the only person exactly like YOU!””

Treat each of your children like individuals rather than equals. What works for one may not work for all. By showing them that you are meeting their individual needs, they will feel heard and respected and loved, rather than comparing themselves to their siblings.

Another way to make each of them feel extra special is to spend one-on-one time with each of them. This can be done daily, weekly, or monthly (or as much as time allows). Take them out on special dates without their siblings. Really get to know them. Ask them about their likes and dislikes. Do whatever they like to do.

Try giving them a quiz to find out their love language. You probably have an idea of what their love language already is, but giving them the love language test is fun for them and makes them feel special and important. You can find one for free here. Make an effort to write them letters if “words of affirmation” is their love language. Give them extra hugs throughout the day if their love language is “physical touch”. You will be amazed at how much this affects kids (and grown ups too)!

Try no to lock your children into specific roles. If one is responsible and one is prone to mischief, don’t declare these positions out loud. Children who think they are to fulfill a certain role end up resenting their siblings. Encourage your children to “break free” from their roles. If one is consistently a rule-follower, allow them to stay up past their bedtime once in a while. Play hooky from school and take them fishing. Show them you love them for themselves, not because of the role they play most of the time.

When siblings fight, as they inevitably will, try to ignore it and let them resolve it on their own. Step in if the situation becomes dangerous and remind them of the family rule to not hurt anyone. Acknowledge their anger, listen to both sides of the story, and describe what they’ve said by repeating it back to them. This will allow them to feel heard and understood. Then step back and tell them you are confident they can come up with a solution on their own. Maybe say something like, “I’m excited to see how you come up with a way to solve this conflict!”

Kids are going to fight, no matter what. Connected parenting and making sure they feel heard will help them to stop comparing themselves to each other.

Kids Eat Free

HAPPIYOUNGSTR

Kids Eat Free

HappiFamli, Senior Food Correspondent

April 3, 2018

Is saving money your New Year’s resolution? A lot of people reevaluate their budgets at the beginning of the year, but don’t want to give up having fun either. We’ve got an idea for the best of both worlds: a list of where kids eat free in town! Make special plans once a week (or month depending on your budget) and eat out at one of these places with the family on a Kids Eat Free day! Keep in mind that these deals require the purchase of an adult meal. Please call ahead to confirm as they are at liberty to change.

On Saturdays and Sundays, kids eat free at Steak ‘n Shake when you spend $9 on an adult meal. Dine-in only, drink not included.

On Sundays, kids eat free at Firehouse Subs and Mama Fu’s Asian House.

On Sunday and Monday evenings from 5 p.m. – close, kids eat free at Jim’s Restaurants (all 3 Austin locations) and at Modern Market.

On Monday and Tuesday, kids eat free at Romano’s Macaroni Grill.

On Tuesdays, kids can eat free from 5-8 p.m. at Kerbey Lane in Round Rock, Silver Grill Cafe, and Central Market North. All three places have playgrounds on the patios if it’s warm enough to play outside when you go!

On Wednesday from 5-9 p.m., kids eat free at Central Market Westgate.

On Thursday and Sunday, kids eat free at Molca’s Mexican Restaurant .

Playgrounds Around Town

HAPPIYOUNGSTR

Playgrounds Around Town

HappiFamli, Senior Playground Correspondent

March 13, 2018

Austin is home to so many great parks, and spring is the perfect time to go and check some out! Here are some of our favorite parks around town. What are we missing?  Let us know your favorites!

NORTH AUSTIN

Katherine Fleischer Park is in the Wells Branch area of North Austin at 2106 Klattenhoff Drive. If you’ve been there, you probably remember it as the playground with the little green playhouse. Besides a huge playground, there are sports fields and hiking/biking trails that run behind the park as well.

CENTRAL AUSTIN

Zilker Park is the heart of Austin. There is more to do here than you can squeeze into one day (although it would be fun to try)! Besides a giant playground, you can find the Zilker Zephyr train, Barton Springs pool, Austin Nature and Science Center, and the Botanical Gardens. Zilker is also the perfect place to canoe, kayak, or SUP out on Lady Bird Lake, or bring your dogs out to Barking Springs or play a game of frisbee fetch at the dog park.

NORTHWEST AUSTIN

Springwoods Park is over in the Anderson Mill area of Northwest Austin at 9117 Anderson Mill Rd. The park has two large playgrounds, one for little kids and one for older kids. The surrounding areas are shady and large climbing trees are everywhere. There are party pavilions, tennis courts, sand volleyball court, and a soccer field.

EAST AUSTIN

Roy G. Guerrero Park is located at 400 Grove Blvd. This park has a huge playground and is right next to Austin’s famous “Secret Beach”. There are beautiful hikes all around this park as well.

WEST AUSTIN

Circle C Ranch Metropolitan Park is located at 6301 W Slaughter Ln. Here you can find something for everyone! There is a shady playground that will appeal to both little and big kids, soccer fields, basketball and volleyball, disc golf, hike/bike trails and more!

SOUTH AUSTIN

Dick Nichols Park at 8011 Beckett Rd. has a free pool, a splash pad for kids, 17 playgrounds, hike/bike trails, basketball, fields, pavilions, tennis courts, and more. This park is huge!