Sometimes consequences are necessary to discourage repeated unkindness between kids. One of the most effective consequences I have found is to have the offender do a job for the child whom he hurt. A kid can make his sister's bed or fold his brother's laundry or do his Saturday housecleaning chores. Often, when kids are not getting along, the last thing they want to do is help each other out. Being assigned to help each is is a strong disincentive to fighting.
That has worked much better than just doing a time out or even a swat. Back in the day I used a swat for every single thing. Growing up I would just get used to the swat and eventually I learned to just do what I wanted and just bear the swat. Then I'd go back to doing what I wanted. When my parents started groundings, they got me where it hurt. I started to really think about my bad behavior. So my conclusion is that swats are only for rebellion (like James Dobson suggests) and be creative in other ways to discipline. Fitting the punishment to the crime just really has worked for my kids.
Another part of the book that really made a lot of sense to me is:
The Importance of Keeping Kids' Emotional Tanks Full
I've come to realize that fighting between children is most intense when they are having a hard time getting their own needs met. If a kid is feeling neglected or out of sorts, he can't have the emotional energy to speak gently to another child, to forgive, to be kind. Often I can trace an increase of fighting in the family directly to a too-busy schedule, especially a too-busy momma, or to a too-great focus on accomplishment at the expense of family fun. (There is much more to this chapter that is wonderful to read).
|Ivy cheering for her brothers|
|Ryan made it to the top!|
We even put up a volleyball net in our backyard and play 1-2 times a week. The kids are learning the game fast and we're having a ton of fun right in our backyard! My husband and I, when we just met and then dated, played volleyball for our dates all the time. Turns out, it's our kids' favorite sport too and we're playing and learning teamwork.
Can vote once a day!