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Mama Drama: Water Worries and Siblings~Friends or Enemies?

Dear Mama Drama:

My three year old has been taking swimming lessons every week for the past year. Since he transitioned from mom and baby classes he has struggled with separation anxiety. Even though I’m right near the side of the pool, he screams and cries. We have tried having me outside of the pool area and that was even worse. Some people have suggested I use a tough love approach, but I’m not comfortable with that.

How can I help him adjust?

~Swimming for answers

Dear Swimming:

Many children struggle with separating from their parents, especially in situations where they may feel uncertain or unsafe. While your son has been swimming for a while, it sounds like he doesn’t feel safe in the water on his own. It may be more of an anxiety about the water than separating from you.

Mama Drama: Sibling Rivalry and Playtime Struggles

Dear Mama Drama,

I recently took my 6 and 8 year old daughters to a pumpkin carving contest. It is a wonderful family event that focuses more on community than competition, but the pumpkins are judged and there are winners. My 6 year old won and my 8 year old did not.  At first, the 8 year old was very supportive of her sister, but then she started crying. When we finally got to the root of the problem, she was upset that she had given her sister ideas and that her sister had won and she didn’t.

This sibling competition expresses itself frequently in negative ways in our family and I am unsure how to react or what to do about it.  Growing up most of my life as an only child, I really don’t understand and am not very sympathetic to sibling rivalry.

How can I encourage my children to be loving supportive sisters and discourage them from being self-centered and competitive?

~Seeking Harmony

Dear Seeking Harmony:

Sibling rivalry is a normal part of growing up with brothers and sisters, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have that harmony you are seeking.