Monday, February 15, 2016

Mothering Monday: Fights, bickering, and arguing.

Our winter break started today pretty badly. My husband ran to Home Depot to pick up some things for a cool project he is doing. I ate breakfast and finished up my daily Swedish practice. I assigned the kids some chores and then once they were done, they were free to hang out downstairs and play games and watch TV. We have had terribly cold temperatures here so it isn't really comfortable for the kids to go outside and play.

While cleaning my bedroom, I heard my youngest son crying and whining. It wasn't a hurt cry--it was a mad cry. The kids play Minecraft together on their Kindles. They always end up fighting. I put Jonathan in time out and moved the other kids around. After doing some more work, another fight had blown up, involving the oldest. I took away all the electronic devices and had the kids work on different jobs. Brooke cleaned the walls in the hallway. Jonathan scrubbed half of the bottom cupboard doors in the kitchen. Josef went to help his dad with the house projects. Walter was sent to carry up boxes to the study.

Pretty soon, both the youngest kids settled down and stopped fighting. They even told me they were much happier. After finishing their jobs, they were allowed to play again. I don't know how long the playing with hold.

I did also have a run-in with the oldest boy and oldest girl. My oldest son, who is a teenager, and therefore, not super patient with his siblings, was telling his sister that she was the cause for all his headaches. I intervened but not with a good effect. I talked to my daughter about lowering the volume of her voice (she is very loud and often speaks in a ear-piercing shriek). I wish my oldest hadn't tried to lay a guilt trip on my daughter.

This parenting business is hard. I am not good at mediating arguments because I often lose my temper. I think I did well today in assigning jobs. I will do that in the future because it defused the situation and had a positive effect. I didn't act like it was a punishment, but just asked the kids to work on jobs. They both felt proud of their work because I thanked and complimented them.

Do you have any tried and true tips for dealing with sibling spats?


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