Let’s face it we’ve all been there. You are trying to accomplish some sort of task and the kids start fighting. You stop everything go in and try to calm the situation. You succeed and return to the task at hand. As you are deep into your task it begins again. The fighting, the screaming, or my favorite, “I’m going to tell mommy!” Now you are mad! You try to pull yourself together, but you succumb to yelling. The next thing you know you just made one of your kids cry. Embarrassed because you are an adult you abandon your task and spend some time with your kids and nothing gets done.
Sometimes, sure you have to stop what you are doing and just surrender and be with your kids. Sometimes it’s not possible to stop especially for those that work at home. Separating them is a good solution, but sometimes the child feels as if they are getting punished and don’t know why. Separating the kids doesn’t teach them how to deal with these situation of conflict. Also depending on the ages conflict resolution might be a difficult concept to understand.
My best friend is my little kitchen chicken timer! Depending on the situation I set the appropriate time and when the bell goes off the kids switch (take turns). It works like a charm. I’ve been doing it for a long time. I’ve also used the timer for potty training. This worked as a great non-verbal cue on when to go. This worked much better than mommy constantly telling them to stop and go. I think it helped because it made them feel in control. Same goes for taking turns, I don’t believe they want to keep getting me to resolve their conflicts. We have gotten to the point when my boys can’t figure out a way to take turns and make it fair they have just begun coming to me and asking for the timer. Isn’t life grand!
We all figure out kid friendly tips to get us through the day and hopefully not compromise our beliefs in parenting. Sometimes it works and sometimes we fail, but at least we try. I’d love to know your tips! Feel free to comment.