I just going to say it. My kids are driving me crazy!!!!!. It must be the summer, because I have not seen such bad behavior in a long time. I am use to the typical whining and complaining between the girls, but there is constant crying and fighting and hitting each other. I am at my wits end. My husband says its normal sibling stuff, and because I am an only child I never had to deal with it. I keep thinking to myself, what parenting mistake have I made, what have I not implemented properly. Do I need a chart? some sort of behavior modification plan. What, what do I need to do?
Monday is a perfect example. We headed to the mall to do a few errands, nothing that was going to be more than an hour. I had to reprimand the girls at a minimum of 5 times in each store we went into for not listening, goofing around, using loud voices and just being rude. By the time we walked out of the mall, each one had lost their scooters, lost t.v for the day and earned an hour of time in their rooms. I was exasperated, embarrassed and frustrated. I told my kids that I will never take them to the mall again ( we all know thats a lie, but I had to pull out the big guns). I am not sure why kids just can’t “control” themselves for more than 2 minutes at a time, or take the most inappropriate times to act up. Sadly, punishing them, punishes me also. Like a nut, I had to go to the mall yet again yesterday, I don’t need to bore you with details, but it was a similar replay of Mondays antics. So daddy needed to get involved.
My husband told the girls that they had to write an apology note to me and my youngest presented me with the following note. I said thank you and went to put it away and she said “mom can I have that back” and said why? She says ” I need it in case it happens again.” I had to laugh, kids brains definitely work differently.
I realize that I sound like a parent out of control and I feel like one. The lack of structure in the summer is wonderful and the easy breezy days can be a ball, but at the same time, many kids need their energies to be channeled. When we were in Italy with the girls, they were amazing, so engaged and interested in what we were seeing and doing, that the conflicts were definitely fewer. Since we have been home, they have escalated 10 fold.
I think the combination of their age difference ( 3 years) to not always having something to do is a recipe for disaster. So I have decided to create a ” things to do can”. There will be sticks with things written on them, everything from activities around the house to outside the house and I will throw in some special bonus activities such as mini golf, movies and ice-cream. If they are on good behavior they get to pick out of the bonus can to see what they get. I know its bribery but I will not survive the summer without something to motivate them with. I also think that kids need to learn to just play, and not be entertained 24/7. So this will be a new experiment that will go into effect this Friday. I will be sure to keep you posted on my success or failure. If you have any summer ideas to keep sibling all getting along, I would love to hear.