Keeping the Peace

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My kids get along pretty well most of the time, but there’s nothing like a week of school vacation to bring out their bad sides with each other.

Very little ignites my temper faster than bickering, and really I think my kids should realize this by now and act accordingly.  Dammit. 

Unfortunately, there was there a lot of bickering going on here by the end of the break.  Enough that I lost my patience and just started shouting  random words at the kids from whatever room I was in when I heard them starting to fight.

B and G are in the living room arguing over who gets to use the piano? 

I am in the kitchen just randomly shouting: “Share!” ; “Be Kind!”; “Use Respectful Words!”; “Take Turns!”; “STOP FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT’S GOOD!”. 

Strangely enough, those helpful phrases shouted at children from two rooms away didn’t fix the problem.  Shocking, I know.  The children, as it turns out, weren’t even aware I was talking to them.  I don’t know what they thought I was doing when I was just yelling random words at the top of my lungs, but I guess I do weird stuff often enough that it wasn’t that big a deal for them.

After this many years of parenting, I should know better.  I should know that I either need to stay out of the issue and let them work it out, or I need to actually get involved by walking over and calmly helping to mediate the situation. 

But sometimes I just get sick of being patient(ish) and mature(ish) and I want to scream and stomp my feet and get my way. (This is also not good parenting, just FYI.)  And I want my kids to stop. fighting. already.

Do you ever have to deal with kids that just can’t seem to get along?  What have you done that’s helped?

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2 thoughts on “Keeping the Peace

  1. Karin

    I modeled their bad behavior recently (stomping, slamming, screaming) and it has seemed to work ok, temporarily, when I do it jokingly. I’ve videoed their bad behavior (makes them more mad). I’ve separated them, taken away everything and every priveledge, forced them to spend time doing things together, medicated them (worse behavior happens in allergy season), yelled, actively ignored, played judge, reminded them of the last time I played judge, asked for their suggestions on the outcome and told them that I was giving up. Nothing has been long term… They do, however, get a long far better in our new house where everyone has some space of their own. I regularly spend breakfast, particularly breaks and summer days, reminding everyone to be respectful of each other, think (and T.H.I.N.K. – is it true, helpful, important, necessary, kind) before you act/react, consider how you would like to be treated/put yourself in their place, and I think it’s helping.

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  2. jane

    I like your idea of yelling random words from a room away; add in some wine and I think it is perfect actually:) You think you are helping, while they solve their own problems-genius!

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