In my blogger heading I mention that there is a 30% chance for tantrums in our little slice of heaven here, but lately it has been more like 50% chance OF FLOOD. Now don't get me wrong. Usually my kiddos get along great and show respect and love toward one another but there are those days that the bicker bug runs rampant in our house biting everyone in sight.
"He/she took all the good chores!"
"I never get to be the first to read."
"How come we are having THAT for breakfast?"
"But we had the kind of sandwich already this week."
"It is my turn to use the remote!"
"Why can't I pick the movie for movie night?"
"He/she got to say the meal prayer last time." (I know the irony is thick here.)
"But Mom said that I get to help cook, today."
"If you unlock the doors today, I get to the rest of the week."
"How come so-and-so got to do what-ever-it-is-that-i-don't-get-to-do-right-now?"
"Is his/her turn up for the computer so that I can play?"
"You sat by mom last time."
"But I never get to turn the lights out!"
"He got to the door first and it is my turn!"
"No, I get to carry the library card, Costco card, receipt..etc."
"But said sibling is standing in my spot!" (These are imaginary placements at the front door before we head out...not sure who started this but I want to pull my hair out with retraining them with the fact that the floor, all of it, belongs to me.)
And on and on and on...just think about your own childhood and I am sure you are siding with one of those comments above.
So in the trenches of sibling rivalry here, I came across a unique idea that is mind boggling in an article written in, A Thomas Jefferson Education Home Companion,by Diane Jeppson: give each child a day for all the privileges. There is no keeping track minute to minute, instance to instance, wracking my brain trying to remember who did what when and how long ago that it was.
We labeled it, "Kid of the Day", on our new chalkboard wall.
This has been revolutionary. Granted there is still the little skirmish here and there, but all I have to do is add my two cents of, "What does the board say, who's turn it is?" Like magic the fighting stops immediately. Because each child agreed to it, and knows the consequence of throwing a fit on their off day...they lose a turn, they usually take it in stride and sometimes seem genuinely good with it.
We are currently on the second week of testing this out and so far so good. The kids wake up and run to the board to see whose turn it is today and are amazingly happy for that individual. I make sure to vary the particular day with each kid as well. Some days are just more fun than others at our house. It would be a downer to always be the Kid of the Day on say, Tuesday. I'll be honest not much happens in the adventure department on Tuesdays. I mean how exciting is laundry day?
Just like anything I am sure it won't always work but for now we love having a Kid of the Day!