I've posted about this before, but honest to God, my kids fight so terribly that it wears me out and breaks my heart. I so want them to love one another and deep down I know that they do. Despite the fact that at any given moment, one of them is hitting or kicking or pushing the other and someone is crying, they both constantly want the other around to play with. It's a strange dynamic. This morning, however, was a horrible morning. Both of them were being horrible to one another. Tia was annoying Sloan (sometimes legitimately, sometimes just by her very presence) and Sloan, the king of overreaction, spent the morning yelling at her. After telling them 800 times to keep their hands to themselves and quit screaming, I lost it. I don't like being mean mommy and I work really, really hard at patience because I know it's not a virtue that would best describe me. So, it's not for lack of trying. But, when they woke Landon up from his nap, that was the straw that broke this mommy's back! I sat them both down and in my semi-calm voice (I was borderline yelling, trying hard to hold back) explained to them that they will be brother and sister for life and they needed to start being more kind and loving toward one another. I could see that that was not working at all, so I moved to plan B. I made them sit on the ottomans facing each other and smile at one another for ten minutes. They were not allowed to get up, touch one another, or talk unless they had a nice thing to say to one another. If they broke any of those rules, I added time to the clock. I think they ended up sitting there for 13 minutes due to their apparent unruly feet that kept "accidentally" kicking the other person. Here is what they looked like in their time out:
I made them each say five nice things about the other. Sloan told Tia she had cute hair, pretty eyes, a cute nose, cool clothes and nice fingers. Because Tia still hardly talks she just kept saying "dis-ee-dow" over and over, which can mean a whole host of things. When their time was up, I made them hug and saying I love you (or dis-ee-dow one more time).I wish I could say this helped. They were nicer to each other for a few minutes after that, but it didn't last long. Although this afternoon, Sloan was very sweet to Tia when she fell and scraped her knee, telling her over and over how sorry he was that she got hurt. That warmed my heart briefly. If only it would last! If anyone has any suggestions on how to handle incessent sibling fighting, I'm all ears!