Mommy S.O.S. Take 436

When the girls were wee little babies and I thought I was going to die from exhaustion…

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I think they were plotting my strangulation with that scarf!

…I was often given the not-so-helpful perspective of “you think this is hard, wait until they start fighting.”  While those words were not helpful, they were true.  The fighting is going to send me to an early grave, I’m just sure of it!

Help!

Seriously, HELP ME!

Our current keep mom from loosing her mind and keep the Ankle Biters from loosing some very valuable limbs strategy is to send them to their rooms to play by themselves. While this sounds like a winning strategy, it usually ends with CeCe crying herself into a hyperventalative state (I know that’s not a word) and Q putting 18 pair of underwear on over her clothes.

And if I sent them to their rooms every time they were fighting, they would spend the whole day there.

Help!

Seriously, HELP ME!

So tell me, what are your sanity saving strategies?  Especially those of you will children close in age (4 months apart anyone?).  What is your mommy advice?  These are desperate times folks.

Help!

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Comments

  1. Lesli Cryer says:

    Oh, and sometimes if the twins are fighting a lot I just make them sit with their arms around each other on the couch. They don’t like it initially, but eventually the end up laughing together.

  2. Lesli Cryer says:

    My kids are a little older, but you might be able to adapt this a little. We spent some intentional time last year at dinner focusing on what the Bible says about peacemaking. We all memorized Romans 12:18 together. It seems like I have found that my kids, even at young ages do have a desire to please the Lord and respond well when we teach them about how He desires for them to live. They still have quarrels, but it helps to remind them about peacemaking instead of just punishing their behavior.
    I also found a few good verses about loving each other that I try to pray regularly for them.

  3. My brother and I were 22 months apart. We shared a room. When we were little and would fight, my mother would make us sit on our toy boxes (which were opposite each other in our room) and not talk to each other until we could play nicely. (This was before the concept of “time out”.) It never took very long.

  4. Hi Brooke,

    I saw your posting on facebook via my friend, Marie Riley. I am the proud momma of identical twin girls, who are now 6 years old. I can totally relate to everything you just wrote in your post. At age 16 months my girls really started getting in each other’s business and really just haven’t ever truly left each other alone. We went through the biting phase, the hair pulling phase (or should I say the ripping hair out of your sister’s head phase), and the whining, crying, fighting, and everything in between. When my girls were 4 years old, after a summer long of them fighting over everything from sun up to sun down, I made the decision to separate them into 2 different preschool classes. They already had separate bedrooms at home due to sleep differences, so this was the only other separating I had left. I worried they would be sad not being together…but after 2 weeks they adjusted and home life got a whole lot better! Whoo-hoo! I really think the problem we had been dealing with boiled down to “too much togetherness”. That school year was great. Previously, when they had been in class together in Moms Day Out, or Sunday school all the teachers had nothing but great things to say about their behavior toward each other, etc. Home was a much different story. So once I saw the positive outcome of classroom separation it just clicked that they really just needed a break from one another. Currently they ARE in the same kindergarten class–this is due to only one half day class being offered at our school. They get along great at school. The second the van door opens at pick-up time, the fighting begins. After Christmas break it seemed like WWIII in my house! I finally sat them down and we talked about the possibility of having separate classes next year…and to my amazement they were excited about that?!?! So for now, the plan is to separate them into two different classes, just to see how things go. I honestly believe it will be a good experience. Even now, what I find works best when they are just really at each other is to send them to their rooms for 5-10 minutes. They are not being punished. I basically phase it like this “You two are really mad, you just need to go take a short break from each other”. I then set a timer and when their time is up I tell them they can choose to stay in their room if they want a longer break or if they are calmed down and can choose to treat each other nicely then they could come out and resume playing. This usually cuts down on the fighting a bit.

    Okay, so that was my experience. I know every kid and every family is different. You will find what works for your kids and your family. I’d say try separating your kids for short periods of time…and when it’s called for, once in a while a longer separation might be necessary. Young kids don’t always know when they need a break from each other, so we have to help them with that until they get old enough to remove themselves from a frustrating situation with siblings or friends.

    Best of luck!
    Laura

  5. There is this book I haven’t read yet called “how to make your kids mind without losing yours.” but one tip I gleaned was just let them fight it out, provided they aren’t killing each other or destroying property. I have been doing it with mine who are 4 and 2 (23m apart) and it works wonders, usually in a matter of moments they are back to playing kindly with one another.

    Also, I have a compassion jar that they get a little stone to put in every time they are caught loving and serving one another or others. They earn so many the get a treat or $ whatever I feel like. Actually I hardly reward the system they are just thrilled to death to put in a stone!

  6. Wow. You do need a break!!! My kids are not all that close in age (2.5y) but now that they are 6 & almost 4, they have enough that they can do together (aka fight over) that I want to pull my hair out. I found an idea on pinterest that I am trying out here. Hurt your sister then you have to do something nice for her. An apology or timeout isn’t enough. They just weren’t getting it. So far I haven’t tried it much because for whatever reason mine have been being good. (I’m sure I just jinxed myself!!!) I agree with a previous comment about lots of praise. What about a “caught you being good” jar? Again saw it on pinterest. Wishing you lots of luck! And if you are ever up in KC and need a break my playroom is fully stocked! :-)

  7. Seriously, Amen. Mine are 23 months apart and some days they are at each other from morning until night, even when in time out, I could literally hear them whispering to each other of what to do next. Something that sometimes works for that for us is behavior bucks. My sister in law coined that term and I don’t know her system. But, our system is doing something towards a goal that is set gets a behavior buck. We have 2 goals for each kid- they’re on bright colored stars, and written in words and drawn out in pictures. They have a common goal of being nice to the other, and the other goal is doing something the first time they’re asked. I chose these goals because it’s what we struggle with the most. You earn bucks to get prizes, or a treat, or game time, or what have you. When the kids are at each others’ necks, and I’m about to explode with frustration, I sometimes separate them, but I get down on the floor with them and say you know, this behavior makes Mommy very sad. What kind of behavior do you think would make each other happy? What can you guys think of to earn behavior bucks? And then I over the moon praise them for the good behavior. We had to change our whole focus of behavior modification from no no no to yes for every positive behavior. I know this sounds like not so big of anything, but it has helped with extremely strong willed and intelligent children (one of which also reacts to foods like yours does).

    Hope this sparks some ideas for you! :)

  8. Mine were 19 months apart…and we never really had any true fighting till they were older like 4th grade till now. And Boys are WAY different then little ladies. I like the room idea, we could not do that because ours shared a room, we have made them duke it out, kiss and make up… At the age of your little ones, I think time out or time apart is a good thing. Maybe they need a mommys day out program but on opposite days or something so they get more time apart where they can enjoy being home together more. Really not sure, parenting is simply trial and error…winging it. LOL I think you are doing a fantastic job!!

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