Tuesday, January 4, 2011
So I've made a new discovery. Actually it's not new, it's been used for a long time, probably because it works.
The last week or so my kiddos have been having a hard time getting along. Sure they are siblings, so it's no surprise that there is going to be fighting from time to time. Yet between Ethan being home from school on break, the rustle and bustle of the holidays and the cold weather, it's gotten a little out of hand. We are all a little stir crazy.
The other day it was a back in forth thing where one or the other was in time out or in trouble, it was the only thing they could consistently take turns at. I was at my wits end and on top of it fighting off a bug. So I decided to initiate something from my school days.
Remember when a fight would break out in the hallway and both students would get into trouble no matter who started it? I remember thinking that it was so unfair for the person who didn't instigate. I realize now the reason they did it... it works. I have started making both kids accountable for arguments, fights, etc. no matter who "started it." Here is what I have found:
1) Less fights.
2) One or the other usually tries to dissolve the situation before the word "MOM!" breaks out. Not only is it quieter and more peaceful, but they are learning to resolve their own issues, great tool.
3) Less tattle telling.
4) They too, don't think it's fair. Another important life lesson.
Of course with the tattle telling issue, I have to make myself clear which is tattle telling and what things need to be told as concerns for safety are more important.
I am sure all of this and so much more (for and against) are written in a plethora of Parenting books and magazines, and handful or so of which are collecting dust on my bookshelf or in a box in the crawlspace. I'll be honest, the only books I am reading right now are textbooks and I struggle with finding time for those, so they continue to sit. Not to mention all kids are different, (age and gender aside) what works for one, doesn't always work for the other and what works this month, probably wont work next.
If there is one thing about parenting that I have learned, is the rules of the game are constantly changing and even the smallest victories deserve the attention of a Super Bowl ring. This game play wont always work and there are always exceptions to rules, but right now as I type they are both coloring in peace and WWIII hasn't broke out over a navy blue crayon that they both HAVE TO use.