Friday, July 8, 2011

bickering kids.

Anonymous said...
Another kids seem to be constantly bickering lately (I have a 5 yr. old boy and an almost 3 yr. old girl and a 5 month old.) The two older ones are at each others throats lately and I don't know if I should constantly intervene and correct behavior (which could seriously take up 2/3rd's of my day) or what. How do you manage that, or how would you manage that? What kinds of consequences do you and your hubby use? Time-outs? Spankings? Etc...

Anonymous said...
do your kids "fight" quite often or do they get along pretty well?

My kids are kids.

They do bicker and argue, but not continuously-- really not that often.

Then there are certain days when I feel like someone is arguing or hurting someone else non-stop, but I usually only feel that way (it may be more my perception of things rather than how they actually are) when I've had enough and I'm trying to have a "me moment".

You know... kids arguing is pretty normal behavior, but it seems amplified and way beyond the norm if it occurs when I have just sat down to relax for a moment with an afternoon coffee. Are you serious?!

It's even worse when I'm a little burnt out from a day's work or lack of sleep.

I find that the best thing to do is have busy kids. Kids that play outside, build legos, do some artwork, and other types of good, old-fashioned fun. I understand that life is not always one great thrill after another, but kids who are not engaged in some kind of productive/creative/physical activity are more prone to bicker.

Now remember-- we don't have cable tv. or any channels for that matter. That is, there is no outside source to our television which sits at the bottom of the closet in the boy's room. It is only for parent approved movies and the Wii (video game thingy). Really that's our tv set, and I've found that the kids argue more about playing video games and what movies to watch than anything else-- which is why the Wii has been put away for the summer. And I love it.

We do have boundaries and have expectations for them regarding their interactions with one another like sharing, being courteous and polite, cooperating and helping a smaller sibling...

These are all the nuts and bolts, concrete ideas that we try to implement. However, the more important component which we as parents are working to and learning to implement and build is Biblical character. Because the truth is: You can force kids to get along, but it's much better when they want to get along because their heart's have been changed.

We've been trying to encourage our kids to operate under the acronym , JOY, which stands for: Jesus first, Others second and Yourself last. But I think there are always gonna be those seasons in every Mommy's life when it seems as if I spend all day correcting and discipling kids that harass each other. Typically it gets better not worst. There is fruit.

For example: I am always praising Parker and Ethan telling them how happy it makes me feel that they truly are best friends. And I can see the same kind of close, loving relationships forming between the other children as well. I hope it encourages them to make the relationship they already have even stronger.

We do discipline all our children and our primary means of discipline is to follow the Biblical prescription for dealing with foolishness. We will also ground kids, bench them for some period of time, have them write papers addressing foolish behavior and bad attitudes, or send them to bed early.

We try not to discipline in anger, we try not to yell, we never say that the child is a "bad" boy or girl, and we pray with our children after disciplining them. The prayer part includes admitting they're wrong, asking for forgiveness, and praying to have a change of heart which changes behavior.

The reason for all this is to restore the relationship and function in a more loving way from that point forward.

This really works.

1 comment:

Danielle said...

Praying after disciplining - love this! Thanks!