September 22nd marked the first official day of the fall season! It’s time for pumpkins, falling leaves, comfy sweaters and more importantly fall events. In this blog series, we have searched high and low for the best family-friendly fall events happening in the Pittsburgh region. Festivals, hayrides, carnivals, trick or treating, you name it! Keep reading for more.

Fall Festival

Soergel Orchards
2573 Brandt School Rd, Franklin Park, Pennsylvania 15090

This festival occurs every weekend (Friday and Saturday) until the end of October. Starting at 11:00 a.m. and ending at 5:00 p.m., the festival includes great food from the farm’s Food Barn, delicious desserts from the Sweet Saloon, hayrides, the pumpkin patch, kettle corn, pick your own apples, face painting, games, and so much more! The festival opened last weekend on September 30th and October 1st. Grab the kids and get ready for some fall fun. Click here for more information.

This event is free and open to the public.

2nd Annual Halloween Family Fun Day

200 Monroeville Mall, Monroeville, Pennsylvania 15146

Sunday, October 8 at 12 PM – 6 PM

Bring the entire family to this fun-filled event! There will be vendors on the second level of the mall. In addition, a costume contest (all ages welcome), crafts, storytime, DJ/Emcee entertainment, strolling zombies and princesses passing out candy, trick or treat w/the vendors, and a charity auction. Click here for full event information.

This event is free and open to the public.

Pumpkinfest 2017

3113 Brighton Rd, Pittsburgh, PA 15212

Saturday, October 21st at 1 PM – 4 PM

The Brightwood Civic Group will be hosting its 26th Annual Pumpkinfest in the Northside area of Pittsburgh. Pumpkinfest offers pony rides, food, arts and crafts, prizes and a bouncing house! Click here for more event information.

This event is open to the public. $5.00 for children, completely free for adults!

South Park Shops 28th Annual Halloween Spooktacular

South Park Shops
Baptist & Library Roads, Bethel Park, Pennsylvania 15102

Saturday, October 28 at 1 PM – 3 PM

Join South Park shops for horse-drawn hayrides, a costume contest, trick-or-treating, music by DJ Tooth, and a show by Count Chipula! The costume categories will be scariest, prettiest, cutest, funniest, best family/group, & best costume! Hope to see you there! Click here for more event information.

This event is free and open to the public.

Dia de Los Muertos Family Celebration

The Shop – Homewood
621 N Dallas, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15208

Sunday, October 29 at 1 PM – 6 PM

Join La Escuelita Arcoiris in celebrating Dia de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) at The Shop in Homewood! Bring the entire familia for crafts, games, music, face painting, and delicious food! Click here for more event information.

This event is free and open to the public.

Know a fall event in Pittsburgh you’d like to share with us? Be sure tell us in the comments below! Not in Pittsburgh? Stay tuned, we will be creating a list of fall events for several other regions.

At times sibling rivalry does not seem like a huge issue, kids will argue and disagree for one reason or another. But, sometimes the arguments seem constant and you feel like nothing can get done without a quarrel ensued between your kiddos. In this article, we discuss ways to handle sibling rivalry so you can bring back the peace to your home.

Having Established Rules and Boundaries

We all know sibling relationships can be complicated, but you can gain a lot of ground on sibling rivalry by having set house rules and boundaries that everyone in the home follows. Here are a few to consider:
  • People (children included) are individuals – Everyone is different and it’s ok to like different things. People can have different opinions and that is ok.
  • Taking Turns – This teaches children about being patient and understanding of each other’s needs.
  • Friendly competition – Try to channel the children’s competitive energy into a night of family-friendly games. By allowing them to compete in a friendly atmosphere, you show them that competition can be healthy.
  • Favoritism – Sometimes we find it easier to get along with some of our children, but be mindful not to have a “favorite” and treat all children equally. When dealing with disagreements be sure to hear both sides of the story.
  • Forgiveness – If difficult situations arise, work through them and let them go. Do not bring up old issues when new situations come up. Teach your children that everyone makes mistakes, and the benefit of forgiving one another and starting over.
  • No labels – Do not label people as good, bad or trouble-makers. Rather, talk about effective or appropriate behaviors. This is especially critical for children, who at a young age are forming ideas about their self-worth.
  • Timeouts – Have established timeout rules and follow through with them. You can have rules for timeouts inside or outside of the home. Remember that consistency is key.

Encouraging Positive Behavior

Once the house rules are set and everyone is aware of them, you want to encourage good behavior from your kids before conflicts arise. This could include:
  • Having behavior talks with the children early in the day when they are calm where you point out effective vs. inappropriate ways to handle their differences.
  • Reminding the children ahead of time about the behavior expected of them in and outside the house. These are quick reminders before you leave the house and right after you arrive at a destination.
  • Pointing out the positive. Catching your children acting kindly toward one another and complimenting them on those behaviors. Celebrate the good stuff and tell them how proud you are of them when they act this way.
  • Offering a reward after they show positive behaviors at the store or a friend’s house. This could be as simple as a snack, treat, small toy or even a visit to their favorite playground.

What to Do During a Disagreement Between Siblings

It is key not to wait until your children are fighting to act. But, what if things already escalated and you’re just trying to bring back the peace? First thing is for you as the adult to keep calm. It is difficult to tell kids to calm down if you are out of control yourself. Take a deep breath, then try a few of these tips as soon as you notice signs things are getting out of hand:
  • Remind the kids of their rewards for POSITIVE behavior.
  • If talking is possible at the moment, try to help each other calmly understand what is bothering the other and negotiating a compromise.
  • Mention how the current actions will result in them not getting something they are excited about doing later that day or the next.
  • Do not allow kids to hit or throw things at each other; get in between them if you must to ensure they keep their bodies to themselves.
  • Tell the kids you will leave the store/venue if they do not listen and calm down, then BE PREPARED TO DO SO. If you are shopping, it’s ok to leave your cart/bag in a corner, quickly explain to an employee that you have to go and apologize for leaving your things there. It’s not what you want, but sometimes this is the only option.
  • If the children are getting physical, then physically separate them. Allow a few minutes for everyone to calm down, then try to discuss how they can better handle things next time.
  • Have consequences ready, explain what will happen due to their poor choices and follow through with it. They really need to understand that negative behavior results in negative consequences. This could mean no electronics, no dessert, going to bed early, skipping a play date or a cancelled trip to the playground.

Most Important, Be the Example

How would you like your child to handle frustrating moments with their sibling? Keep in mind that you are your child’s most influential teacher. Parents often feel frustrated and may be tempted to scream at their kids to stop their sibling disputes, but be aware that this only teaches them to do the same when they are frustrated themselves. What you do they will emulate – the good and the not so good. Watch how you communicate with others. Allow people to have their own opinions and remain calm when disagreeing with others in your life. You will be teaching your kids a valuable lesson on keeping your cool, respecting yourself and others, as well as how to communicate when there are conflicts. These are lessons they will use daily when dealing with their sibling as children and, also, further in life when they become adults.

What do you do when there are conflicts between your children? Please share with us some of the strategies you like to use below. For more information on sibling rivalry and resources on how to address it be sure to visit Kids Visit our blog page for informative articles such as this one.
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