It’s summer. For us, that means all the boys at home together, all day, everyday. This can cause fights, tattling and and other actions that threaten my sanity. I learned a long time ago that non-traditional methods work best with my boys. For instance, since implementing the “I’m Bored” chore jar, I have not once heard any of the kids say they were bored this summer. So, when it comes to them arguing and being mean, we use methods like the ones below to help settle the issues and calm them down.
1. Hug It Out
I have found that one of the worst things I can do to the boys is make them hug. Especially the oldest two and especially in a public place. It is like pure torture asking them to do this and threatening to make them hug is sometimes all it takes to get them to leave each other alone.
2. Say Something Nice
Along the same lines as the above tactic, this one focuses on getting them to actually be nice to each other. I personally love this method and when I remember to use it, it works wonders. If they say something mean about each other, they have to stand in the middle of the floor until they can say two nice things about the person to counteract the one mean thing they said.
3. Work It Out
Boys are full of energy. Sometimes all they need when they are fighting and getting on each other’s nerves is to be kept busy. That is where outside time comes in. I separate them and give them a task to do outside or just make them run/swim it out. Getting rid of some of the pent up energy can end arguments and it doesn’t hurt that the pine cones and sticks in the yard get picked up either.
4. Family Activities
While it may seem that putting them together more would only cause further issues, sometimes the opposite is true. When left to unstructured play, they may fight like cats and dogs. However, if you can focus their attention on a family task such as a board game or craft, they can come together to have a fun time instead of fighting. Redirection if you will.
What different tactics do you use to keep the kids from fighting during the summer?