I hate when the kids hit each other. Scream your heads off. Call each other names. Stomp down the stairs to tell me the litany of sins the other has done. Just do not kick, punch, squeeze, pinch, or slap the other person.
I ended up yelling quite a bit in frustration over this and then sent each girl to different rooms while I took the dog out on her walk (with the warning that if they fought while I was out, they’d have to get dressed and walk the dog with me, in the cold dark, every winter night.)
Then I had an idea that I’m sure was planted by someone else (was it you?). Instead of yelling more, or taking away privileges, or just sweeping the whole thing under the rug, the girls would have to do something nice for each other.
Ten nice things, in fact.
So this morning when they staggered down the stairs, I told them the plan: No electronics. No early morning TV, no checking email, using your iPod, reading your Kindle. . .nothing. . .until you’ve each done 10 nice things for the other person. Write down each item and I will okay them one by one.
Belly was first. She made Jilly’s bed, picked up the beads she spilled the night before, straightened out her dolls, hung up her coat. Her list of ten was done in under a half hour.
Jilly is working on her list right now. So far, she’s made her sister’s bed, plug her sister’s iPod into its charger for her, and straightened all the books out that are next to her bed.
I’m not sure what this will accomplish except that it feels kind of nice to have them thinking about what they can do for each other, instead of how pissed off they are after last night.
And I’m glad that someone else is making the beds.