A few weeks ago, just as school was nearing an end, this mama had several rough days in a row with the kiddos. They were both fighting with one another, screaming in public, Phoebe was running away from me, and I was wondering how I was going to survive an entire summer with them. It was pretty bad.
So, I decided to sit down with the two of them and come up with some rules for summer. I wanted the rules to be vague, so they could be applicable across all situations and most importantly, I wanted them to help make the rules. I figured that if they helped to come up with the rules, than they were more likely to agree with them, and would hopefully be more likely to follow them. I didn't think these rules would do much, but I figured it couldn't hurt. We wrote the rules down on a sheet of paper and posted them in our home.
And, although the less-than-perfect behavior has not ceased or even really decreased, things have been different. When a kiddo is breaking one (or more) of the rules I stop them and ask which rule they are breaking, or for Phoebe who is younger, I will ask her is she is following a certain rule.... "Phoebe, are you being kind?"
I found that this makes them stop, think about their behavior to analyze if they are breaking a rule or not, and often this is enough to redirect them and make everyone happy again, at least for a little while. Who know how long this will last, but I think it has helped improve things around here.
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