Saturday, August 11, 2012

Saturday So What: Swat the flies, not your kids

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So What is wrong at my house?

My kids are whacking each other, that's what. And for the life of me, I couldn't figure out why. I abhor violence and don't spank unless mortal danger was involved in the infraction. So when my nearly 3 year old got mad at her 5 year old sister and slapped her hard on the back, I blamed unruly preschool kids for rubbing off on my angels.

Flash forward an hour. The two "little angels" were nose to nose yelling at one another. I'd had it. I hollered for them to stop. It was like they couldn't even hear me. Next I stomped over and dropped down to their level.  Still, like I wasn't even in the room. So what did I do? I swatted both girls on the back to get their attention. Just a featherlite pat.


These kids were like funhouse mirrors, reflecting and distorting my behavior back. When I was frustrated at them, I would swat them to get their attention, or get down to eye level. How must that look to them? I'm big, they're little.  Though I don't intend it to come off as intimidating, it probably does. So they take that tap and magnify it 20x.

I have a few things to work on apparently. What about you guys? Have you ever accidentally been a bad influence? Better yet, how do you discourage fighting?


1 comment:

  1. Oh, I am a constant bad influence on my kids!! And I haven’t found a foolproof way to keep them from fighting (though I did read a very helpful book on the subject called “Siblings Without Rivalry”) but I do have a useful method for when they do fight. I make them sit on the fireplace hearth and I don’t let them up until they can each tell me (and each other) how they were responsible for the argument and how they should have behaved differently. It forces them to quit blaming the other person (which is REALLY hard to do) and take ownership of their own actions. I would like to think that it also helps them think twice about their reactions to certain situations. I also require an apology from them for what they did and I think that leads to more meaningful apologies rather than a halfhearted “Sorry.” The other bonus with this method is that I’m not stuck throwing the penalty flag at anyone- both parties are admitting guilt so I’m not choosing sides!

    Good luck with your crew! And don’t worry- God gives us children to make us better people too. :-)



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