Monday, March 26, 2012

Sibling Conflict

A nice loving sibling moment...wish they were all like this.

I'm about at my wit's end with sibling squabbling. Eeeek! It's a real pull your hair out kind of feeling when two of them go at it. When a few more of them get going it's a where is a giant piece of chocolate cake with some chips on the side kind of feeling.

I've decided to try something new. I talked to a friend of mine who has grown kids and she recommended that I intervene less. Let the kids figure it out. I can see her point.

I also read a great article recently. It said to pull one child aside and give them pointers on how to work it out. I can do that. The article also said it might require pulling the child out 5-6 times per argument at first. HaHA! Oh, they were serious. I cannot imagine the time it would take to do that with 5 kids.....times multiple arguments a day....times arguments with different siblings. I think it adds up to 3,583,298.  Too much.

Even so, I am using the advice. I've started telling the child (the tattler) to go back and talk to his/her sibling (the supposed wrongdoer). I tell them to say things like I don't like it when you say that or I want you to stop or can we figure out how to share that toy. Ya know what? Sometimes it works. Yeah!

We have always made encouraged the kids to say sorry to each other and also to extend forgiveness. It's one of our family mottoes. You have to say sorry even if you don't feel like it. We tell the kids that even Mom and Dad say sorry to each other....and sometimes don't really fell like doing it. But....and huge BUT, when you do it you end up feeling it too. A good lesson in humility.

One of the worst times the kids act up with arguing and fighting is in the car. I know, big surprise. We have a Dodge Caravan that seats seven. There are seven of us. Sardines.

The wee ones sit next to each other in the middle right behind me. I often wish (this means I pour over the Craigslist ads) we could get a used limousine. Not for the fancy style or the ability to serve champagne and caviar while driving but so I could use the sound proof roll up glass!! Yes! Oh, how I dream of the quiet. One flip of the switch and up would go the magic tinted (so I couldn't see what was going on either) glass. Beautiful.

Back to reality. We are stuck with the Caribbean....not a mistype....just our fun name for then Sardinemobile.

Yesterday on the way to church the middle rowers started acting up. Fighting....He put his shoe on me....She poked my ear...He stuck his tongue at me....He....She...louder and louder...and ARHHHH! Cam calmly told them to stop (or he was going to get off the freeway). :)

Then Cam told them they should say sorry to each other and hold hands. Sis very nicely said she was sorry and asked to hold her brother's hand. Baby George? Ummmm.....not ready. He scrunched up his face and shouted loudly, I DON'T WANT TO!  Sis once again said sorry in a very sweet voice (actually it was out of the ordinary sweet) and asked to hold his hand. Baby George? Shouted again, NO!

I was wishing for that limousine. I was also proud of Sis. After about 5 minutes of calming down BG was back to being best friends with his Sis again. A happy ending.

What do you do when your kids fight and tattle. Give me your secrets...pretty please? People with raised kids, people with little kids, people who teach and/or taught kids, people who were kids...C'mon!

1 comment:

  1. Oh, your husband can tell you the things we tried...and that were universally hated. Mostly, "fresh start" was a biggie...when you can't go back and repair the fight/argument/damage. Sometimes you just have to have a "fresh start" and try to do better next time. The second thing we did (which the kids all hated) was have a family council - don't know if those things worked for the kids but they certainly worked for ME, the mommy. :)



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