Saturday, July 18, 2015

6 Tips on Handling Sibling Bickering

Maybe it is just me, but my kids seem to go through irregular cycles of bickering.  In the thick of summer it can get pretty bad.   I haven't been able to blame it food, or sleep, or the phases of the moon, or really anything else.  Some days, they just seem to want to fight.  You know it is bad when you have to tell the kids they are not allowed to speak to, or look at one another, which is what I found myself saying today.  I generally get annoyed and then irritated and then really angry and then I snap and end up yelling at them all leaving me annoyed with myself.  And they are back at it 5 minutes later.  So I got to thinking about what I SHOULD be doing instead...

1.  Get out of the house. Take them with you if you have too.  Take them to the park, or the library, or the McDonald's Playland - anywhere but home and preferably somewhere that serves coffee but also has a play-space large enough that they won't be bumping into one another constantly.

2.  Lock them outside.  If it is hot you can turn on the hose.  If it is cold... well.. tell them to grab their mittens if guess.  I live in Arizona so we don't have that problem.

3.  Lock yourself in the bathroom and take a bath.  I never understood the "Calgon take me away!" commercials - now I get it.  When they start pounding on the door to tattle, just slip your head under the water or turn on the spout and you won't hear a thing.

4.  Turn up the music.  Maybe put ear buds in and plug into your phone.  Listen to a fabulous podcast (like mine or Jenna's). Ear buds are really good at blocking out the squabbles.  Somehow I am able to play dumb too when I have the earbuds in.

5.  Grab some noise canceling headphones (they are on my birthday wish list this month!) and write a blog post about bickering children.  

6.  Have a drink.  Just one.  But put it in a pretty glass.  Sometimes we just need to relax and keep calm amidst the craziness.  I think I may have recommended that at the witching hour too so pace yourself or you may end up in rehab down the road.


Look - there is no way to actually end sibling bickering.  This is how kids learn to cope, to negotiate, to deal with frustration, and to resolve conflict.  Usually parents don't really need to get involved.  Our rules for getting involved are if someone is being cruel, physical, or if they are leading one another into sin.  Otherwise I TRY not to get involved.  It is soooo hard though! So figure out your own boundaries and then do your best to ignore the other stuff.  Good luck!

Thanks for stopping by!

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