Q: How can I prevent my 4 1/2 and 7-yr-old boys from constantly doing or saying things just to get the other upset? How should I handle it when they do that?

A: Siblings naturally compete with one another and may also be bickering to get your attention. Try to encourage behaviors that you want to see and discourage the other behaviors. If the boys are taunting each other, be clear and firm in your comments. Let them know that the behavior is not acceptable and redirect them to more constructive behaviors. Do not over focus on the negative as this may unintentionally encourage that behavior. Keeping kids busy and physically active will help decrease unwanted behaviors.

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Answered by Dr. Eva Ritvo



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