Stalked by the Stork...a diary of raising twelve kids

Having twelve children is an amazing blessing and one heck of a crazy ride. Join us through all the joys, smiles, tribulations and trials as we navigate this fabulous journey!

Friday, July 8, 2011

In Search of the Cure for Bickering...

...bickering amongst siblings that is. Bickering between my husband and I is another matter entirely and is fortunately pretty rare. Why must kids argue back and forth? Even about the simplest and most mundane of affairs? My days are filled with hearing comments (usually accompanied by raised voices) such as
"He took my action figure!"
"I was gonna eat the rest of the strawberries, but then HE got them and he knew I was gonna eat them!"
"Mom! It's HIS job to clean the table and my job to sweep the floor, so he just pushed all the crumbs off the table onto the floor and now I gotta sweep them!"

My kids have the amazing ability to turn any situation into an argument. Take them out to ice cream- they will fight because one kid's shoe is hitting another kids knees under the table. Take them swimming- they will fight because one kid got the towel all wet and now the complaining child doesn't have a dry one. Perhaps one kid got an extra pizza roll at lunch, or one kid got to pick the TV show twice in a goes on and on and on. Yesterday for example, in the van, on our way home from Knoxville a major fight erupted in the back seat. I turned around in my chair to try to settle the dispute, which turned out to have stemmed from the fact that Brandon had felt the need to stretch in crowded quarters. It never ends.

I am constantly on the lookout for the cure to this. I've ignored. I've cracked down. Neither seemed to be effective. I've pleaded with the kids to treat one another as nicely as they treat their friends. They just looked at me like I had two heads. I've preached the golden rule, offered bribes and rewards for friendly sibling behavior. Nada. The bickering continues. And continues. But I refuse to give up, to throw my hands in the air and deal with days full of whining and complaining and tattling. I'll find the solution. If anyone already knows the cure, or is already in possession of the golden nugget of knowledge, please pass it along to me. Quickly.


Anonymous said...

I have raised 9 of my own and countless other foster children. This always works for me. I have to reinstate periodically if the ugly stuff arises again. Social workers always laugh when kids tell them what I've done.

I have a complaint book. It has a space for the individual's name, their complaint, witnesses, date. Whenever someone feels the urge to complain, if they want a resolution, they MUST fill out a form. Little kids can draw. Then I merely say, "I'll look at the book at x time." Then I walk away. After a few hours, days, I go through the complaints and pronounce a remedy. If the kids have no audience for their mumbling, they quit. Whenever they appear to gripe or tattle, I just hand them the book.

Hope it works.


Angela & Albert Fontenot said...

Oh thank you Marsha!!! I'm implementing this TODAY!!!! I have never heard of it so I'm super excited to have a new idea. I will let you know how it goes. Thanks again!

Jules said...

Seriously, if you find a cure, let me know! My kids are a non stop barrage of garbage to each other. I think it might just be par for the course with lots of kids though. They spend way too much time in close proximity to each other!

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