Small decisions in favor of not fighting {Whole Together Family}

The kids finally started playing nicely after a morning of irreverent shouting at each other, not to mention the last week or so of tired snarling while recovering from our trip. I mean, they are sweethearts, too, as are all kids, but we all have our days. And this last week has been a series of us all having our days of cranky at the same time and at each other.

So this morning when the kids finally settled into a game where they were all pretending happily and no one was shouting, I promptly backed out of our afternoon activity in favor of staying home in the weird cloudy May sunshine so as not to break their happy play spell. Staying home because the kids aren’t fighting seems like a weird decision, but I wanted to make this moment of niceness last as long as possible.

The arguing reappeared right before dinner, but happy playtime was had and I like to think their brains are wiring for togetherness. Something about neurons and pathways and synapses and all that. And even if it is not changing their brains, at least it is changing their hearts and encouraging good feelings between them.

I think this would be a really helpful thing to pay attention to more often. We often go places when people are happy and stay home when everyone is cranky. It seems counterintuitive, but maybe the cranky-pants need a little more action and the happy siblings need more home together time to build good connections instead of bad connections.

We’ve been really struggling with some ridiculous fighting and I think this summer it is time to dig in a little. It was probably time before, but I tend to adjust my sights seasonally so here’s my summer Mom-ing adjustment:

  • not interrupt happy play so much.
  • pay attention to their energy and moods more. Maybe they are bored, tired, in need of a hug, or just need an adult more in charge because they’re little.
  • learn the art of redirecting their games before they become intensely upset with each other.
  • look into learning some more strategies for helping the kids (and me!) handle conflicts together so we can all be a little happier.

Any tips? I feel like I have mental roadblocks around sibling fighting and have no idea how to handle it most of the time. What is your go-to response?

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