It's no secret that like adults, sick kids are generally more irritable. When two or more siblings are home sick together, chances are, it's going to be a long day for everyone.
Between fighting for mums' attention and fighting over toys and television stations, when more than one child is home sick, keeping the peace may seem like a full-time job.
If you find your brood home under the weather together, consider these 5 keys for keeping the peace.
1. If the kids just aren't getting along, consider separating them.
While it may be easier for you to provide care to both kids when they are in the same room, if they are getting on each other's (and your) nerves and it's preventing them from getting the rest they need to get better, consider setting up a sick room for each child. Stock each room with a beverage, appropriate snack, a few books and quiet activities. Consider giving each child a walkie-talkie to communicate to each other and a bell or whistle to call for you.
2. If the kids are well enough to play, but are having a hard time playing together, setting up a play theme may help reduce conflict.
Theme play works well for siblings who are similar or different in age. The children may interact with each other or play side by side with similar, but different things. To create a farm theme, for example, put out puzzles, toys, books and colouring pages that feature farm animals.
3. If you find one child is trying to rest and the other keeps preventing that from happening, offer a distraction.
Read a favourite book, do a simple craft project, watch an age-appropriate DVD or engage your child is another quiet activity that interests him.
4. If both mum and dad are available to provide care, consider the divide and conquer approach.
Caring for sick children is a difficult task. Splitting the care giving duties can ensure that the children get the care and attention needed to help them recover and that mum or dad don't get burnt out.
5. Making the most of a bad situation is sometimes the best thing you can do.
When the kids are sick at home, consider it an opportunity for family time. Watch a movie together, play a simple game together or share a special treat together.
When you are caring for a sick child times two, three or more, it can be a real challenge. Keeping the peace amongst them can help everyone get the rest they need to recuperate quickly and fully recover.
How do you keep the peace when your kids, plural, are home from school sick?