Does your home feel like a war zone? Have your kids done nothing but fight all day? Do you feel like you’re a referee for a boxing match? Whenever two kids can’t seem to agree on anything it makes for a VERY long day! Have you been there? You try to get through cooking supper, but in the background, all you hear is squawking and fighting. It’s enough to make even the sweetest mama lose her mind! If you are at your absolute wit’s end and have tried everything else, I’d like to encourage you to try this silly little trick to make your kids stop fighting.
One day, when I had ENOUGH, I thought of a solution. It’s silly, but it’s so EASY and kinda fun! And it definitely teaches them the ‘art of getting along!’
Another bonus is that it will work with kids of any age (within reason, of course).
I have them hold hands. THAT’S IT.
I set the timer for a set amount of time and the offending parties may not let go of each other’s hands until the timer is up. But that’s not all. They don’t just sit and hold hands, I give them silly little things to do.
For example, my 5 and 8-year-old could NOT get along one day last week so I set the timer for 15 minutes and then I sent them on a nature walk around the yard. I gave them a few specific things to look for and told them I did not want them to run, but walk. (OK, I admit, I partly just wanted to enjoy some peace and quiet, so I didn’t want them to run because then it would end too soon! 🙂 )
By the time they came back they were giggling and laughing and had several funny stories to tell me about their nature walk around the yard while holding hands.
Or you might have them try folding clothes together or picking up toys. It could be as simple as building a tower with some blocks.
Whatever you decide, make them do it WHILE holding hands.
It seems like a crazy little exercise yet it works!
Think for a minute why kids don’t get along. They get stuck in a rut of opposing everything the other does. Often times, for no good reason. When you make your kids hold hands, they have to become willing partners and TALK to each other in order to collaborate and find a way to do something together.
Now this might seem like a simple silly little exercise, but it teaches so many different things.
When you make your kids hold hands, they have to become willing partners and talk to each other in order to collaborate and find a way to do something together.
They can’t just do their ‘own’ thing.
They HAVE to talk out the steps to whatever action they are going to do and figure it out. By holding hands, they can’t just consider themselves. It’s a joint-effort.
When two people work together, they HAVE to be patient. Or at the very least, begin to learn the art of patience. (Remember, parenting is a process!) There will always be one weaker partner and one stronger partner.
They each need to learn to adapt to each other and be patient in the process. This silly little trick will teach them how to wait for each other. It will also teach them to consider each other. And to put their own preferences aside.
When you make your fighting kids hold hands, you are actually allowing them to learn how to exercise patience. Good job, mama!
IT GETS RID OF THE ‘ME FIRST’ SYNDROME
If you think about it, at the heart of any argument is the ‘me first’ syndrome. And it’s yucky!
Most kids argue because they want what they want. And when they don’t get it it makes them angry.
When you make your kids hold hands and work together at something, they cannot put their own feelings first. They have to consider the other person in order to complete the task.
IT USUALLY ENDS IN A LAUGH
More often than not my kids end up finding this exercise funny. Now it doesn’t usually start out that way, but by the end, they have found so many things to laugh about because it’s just not normal to do things holding hands!
It’s nice to be able to turn an argument into something funny
IT DISTRACTS THEM
I have found that if I just completely change the scenario for my fighting kids, it can make ALL the difference.
You already know all the reasons I think that holding hands is a good exercise, but finally, it may just be the change they need to forget about what they are fighting over in the first place!
And that’s GOLDEN!
WHAT HAPPENS IF IT DOESN’T WORK?
If it doesn’t work, don’t worry! You just need to re-evaluate and try again. Sometimes you will need to do this exercise a few times before you actually see results.
As with anything in parenting, it’s not usually one and done. Don’t be afraid to have your kids do the exercise over and over. (Bonus hint: Download, ‘My Simple Easy Secret to Child Training.’ It’s FREE! 🙂 You don’t want to miss out on it! It will make ALL the difference in your parenting, AND….after reading it, you might not even need to make your kids hold hands!)
As I said before, child training takes practice and practice makes progress.
Also be sure to ask your kids heart probing questions so that they can identify what the problem actually is.
This way you are also getting to the heart of the problem instead of just putting a Band-Aid on it.
When you take the time to teach your kids how to stop fighting, and better yet, how to get along, you will be teaching them life-long skills. They will learn to grow up and love each other! And maybe even be friends! What parent doesn’t want that?
And remember, as I said before, you can use this with any age. A few times I have had to use it with my older kids, but it usually only takes once for them! 🙂
And each time that you teach your kids to get along with each other, you will also gain a little piece of their hearts!