How To Help Your Children Get Along
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My kids, Isabella and Josh are quite little at almost five and two respectively. My nephews, Abel and Favour, however, are not. They are twelve and ten respectively and act every bit their age.
Both boys spend some weekends and most holidays with me and while I love them to bits, having them around is no walk in the park. From constantly fighting to setting tiny traps for each other, they keep me on my toes.
At the end of each holiday, I make the silent vow I would never allow them spend another day in my house, but before school period is out, I’m missing them greatly and clamouring to have them come over.
I knew I didn’t want their constant bickering to continue, plus Favour fancied himself agemates with 4-year-old Isabella and was constantly making her cry. So I thought of a way to make them all get along so I would have more peace and finally came up with an effective one.
How I Finally Got The Kids to Get Along
The last time the boys were over, I gathered everyone in a little emergency meeting. As we sat around the table, I informed them we were going to start a little game called “Being Your Brother’s Keeper.”
This game was quite simple. They were to look out for each other; protect each other. If anyone cried while they were all together, they all got punished. It didn’t matter who was at fault.
Did they agree to this initiative? Of course not. Abel protested vehemently. He stated he didn’t see why he had to get punished when he most times wasn’t the one to stir up trouble (he was right here. Favour was the little trouble maker and also the quickest to burst into tears at the first sign of trouble).
However, I wasn’t just trying to get them to stop being troublesome, I was also trying to foster a bond between them and to get them to look out for each other so I knew a different plan than the one I just put forward wouldn’t work ( they would shoot holes in a lesser plan in no time).
Did My Plan Work
I’ll be honest with you and say I didn’t exactly expect this plan to be widely successful. Boys will be boys and these ones were smart. However, I knew I’d be getting at least an hour of peace which I badly needed, seeing as I had a lot of writing and needed the quiet to think and research.
The first time we put this plan in motion, here’s what happened…
One hour passed and then another, and no one had come crying to report what had been done to them. I hadn’t heard Isabella cry either, which was a rarity. One time, I thought I heard her start to cry, but her tears were quickly hushed, as though a hand went over her mouth. I couldn’t be sure, but I was happy they’d allowed me the peace.
I started to get worried though, so I carried Josh, who remained with me, and went to investigate.
I finally found them in the play room and they were gathered around Isabella’s leggo toys building a castle.
Abel looked up as I remained at the entrance, smiled sheepishly, and went back to creating.
I bet what was going through his mind at the moment was you thought you would get us, right?
I smiled and went back to my work and I had peace for most of that day.
Of course, there have been slips, but for the most part, they are better behaved and I believe I have succeeded largely in making them look out for each other.
I know this because one time I needed them to come downstairs for lunch and while before now they would have dragged their feet and I would have had to yell my lungs out or go upstairs to round them up, they came down with little cajoling. All I did was yell from downstairs that the last person to come down would get a few extra lessons (we do an hour of school activities daily and they all get home lessons).
They were down in a jiffy with none of them being the last. They achieved this by holding hands. Favour carried Isabella, and they timed their steps so they took the same steps and arrived at the same time.
While I laughed at their kid smartness, I knew they were getting the picture and beginning to look out for each other.
Kids are smart and as parents and guardians, we need an extra fore of creativity to stay one step ajead of them
My friend makes her twin boys wear a get-along shirt for hours and because they hate it, they behave to keep from wearing it.
Would I Punish Them If One Person Cried?
This is the exact question, my sister, their mom asked as I told her the trick and we both laughed our heads now.
Now, I know for a fact I would never punish a child for an error another did. However, the kids don’t know this and I plan to keep it that way. Lol.
Will this plan always work?
I know it will cease to work soon, especially as they continue to grow and get smarter. However, I’m hoping by the time this happens, I would have achieved my aim of creating a strong bond among them so they look out for each other, no matter what.
Tags: how to help your kids get along, how to help your children get along, how to help your children get along when they fight often