Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Someone Make the Lambs Stop Screaming

I have been blessed with two wonderful, beautiful, intelligent daughters in this life. I have also been blessed with the ability to hear. While it may seem those two blessings are unrelated, when your children are constantly fighting and screaming, they don't seem so unrelated.

My girls fight constantly. I could use a string of colloquialisms to describe their behaviour around each other; they fight like cats and dogs, or they are like oil and water, but no matter how you describe it, the fighting is exasperating and painful, even. I don't think we have had an entire hour where the two of them are on the same level of our home, with out a fight. They don't even need to be in the same room, just the same floor, for something to erupt. And erupt it does. The fight starts out with some sort of low rumbling. Then, it build with larger quakes and noises. Until, it all out explodes and drenches us all in fiery, ugly meanness.

They fight over the most ridiculous stuff, too. I swear to you, today I spent a good 10 minutes listening to them argue over the same blue crayon. Now, in order to avoid fights, I have placed at least two packs of crayons into our crayon container, and over half of them have been broken into two pieces or more. So, there are multiples of every single color in there. It doesn't matter, though. That blue had the best wrapper, or was the longest, or what ever menial reason they could give to try and fight over the crayon. It was ridiculous.

It is disabling for me. I start to shut down when they fight. I can't accomplish the tasks that I have designated for myself. Instead, I find myself either trying to stop the fight by reasoning with them, or just hiding to try and avoid it all together. As proof, I sit here mulling over all this, while my bathrooms sit in desperate need of a good cleaning.

I've tried different approaches to handle it. For a while, I just immediately took away what ever they were fighting about. I have separated them. I have threatened them. I could go on with all the things I have tried. However, today, I read an article that gave me something new to try, and I think I like this one the best. A child psychologist suggested that you just ignore it. While there were a few things that were considered unacceptable, and would require the parent to step in immediately, outside of those situations, you just let them work it out. I don't know why I haven't tried this before. I have always made my oldest work her own problems out with her friends and would not step in unless there was blood involved. As a result, she knows how to work out problems with her friends, and use her words to solve them, very well. So, I don't know why I haven't been doing this with my own two, in stead of constantly trying to referee. I don't want to referee and I'm not going to do it anymore. I'm going to get off here, in a few minutes, and go clean my bathroom. Unless they start to bully or physically hurt each other, I'm just going to ignore the them to the best of my ability. I'm even going to try and find The Husband's mp3 player that he keeps telling me I should use, and enjoy some sweet music while I clean the bathrooms. While I will still be cleaning the bathroom, at least I'll be listening to something I enjoy hearing while I do it.