Tips and tricks for making parenting FUN again!

Tips and tricks for making parenting FUN again!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Blame Game: Taking Ownership

Me dressed as a referee for Halloween with 3 of my kids. That baby in my arms turned 3 this year!

“HE started it!”

“No, SHE did!” 

“Did NOT!”

“Did TOO!"

Don’t you hate playing referee to your kids’ arguments?

I know I do, which is why I fell in love with this idea from Shawni over at 71 Toes (scroll down to the photo of the bench). She calls it the “fighting bench". Basically, when you start hearing the accusations fly, simply choose a spot in your home to be the “fighting bench" (ours is our fireplace hearth). Tell your feuding children they must sit in the designated spot and they must determine what their part of the disagreement was. They are not allowed to get up until they have told you what they did to cause the argument and apologize to the other person for their part in it.

We have used this successfully for a few months now, and not only are my children learning about taking ownership of their issues, they are also learning that when they have a disagreement, it’s better to just avoid getting mom involved, so as to avoid the “fighting bench". :-)

Looks like this referee may be ready to hang up her whistle...well, almost. ;-)

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Making Amends

Does sibling rivalry make you as crazy as it makes me? Well, one way I’ve discovered (from Connected Families) to help provide an “increase of love” in our home is to provide two kinds of consequences for sibling rivalry: one consequence for the bad behavior, such as a time-out, and one act of kindness to help repair the hurt. If, for example, my 8-year-old is unkind to his little sister, he might have a time-out. After his time out is through, however, along with apologizing to his sister he must do something nice for her, or help her with something she needs, like putting lotion on her hands at bedtime.

So far this has resulted in more sincere apologies and those little acts of kindness have promoted stronger sibling relationships. Even little family members can find ways to make amends. Just this week my 3-year-old hit her big brother. After her time out and apology, I had her help him by hanging up his backpack on the hook where it belongs. She ended up wearing it in order to carry it to the hook and when he saw her he couldn’t help but laugh at the sight of her wearing his backpack- which was almost as big as she was! She started giggling as well, and any bad feelings were quickly forgotten. :-)