Thursday, February 14, 2013

5 Nice Things

Much about smaller surroundings and less belongings is tremendous.  However, it seems a smaller house has also created contention when it comes to the littles.  Mostly due to the constant contact they have all day. In the words of my techno-genius hubby , "there's no where to escape."

Tis true - they are together ALL the time now. Not that they didn't spend most of their time together before, but now it's not always by choice. The only break they get is church and a couple hours a day when all but the youngest are doing school.

Fewer toys has been a blessing.... and a curse.  A relative term, fewer, as it seems we still have a plethora of My Little Ponies and Legos.  One has to ask - when you have multiples of similar toys (like said ponies) why, oh why, do children fight over ONE particular pony?  It's the "prettiest, best, smallest."  UUGH!

I have come to the conclusion that "no escape" and "fewer options" are - in part - the culprit for some of the spats that erupt from time to time.

Solutions to this issue have been challenging.  Sharing - you would think it a given in a large family - has proven difficult without intervention; taking turns helps - a little; taking the items in question away solves the problem - until that toy is returned to play; having everyone take turns picking toys till all the toys are gone, helps - until they start to play again.

What to do, what to do.... One day, as the spats escalated, out of desperation I started to take the toys away and separate the 2 perpetrators.

Something in my heart hesitated.

Separating them isn't going to solve the hurtful feelings and words they are sharing.  Instead, I told them both to sit together in the rocking chair, look at each other, and share 5 nice things about their sibling.

At first they just looked at each other, but that alone caused giggles.  Giggles I like - squabbles I dislike.

I encouraged them to compliment one another.  "I love you."  Said one.  "I love you, too." Came the reply.  "I like your shirt,"  I like your hair." "You're so pretty." "Your eyes sparkle."  More chuckles and all out laughter by the time "5 nice things" are shared.

Suddenly, the spat over ponies doesn't seem so urgent and sisterly love is restored.  I can't say they never spat, but most end with hugs and laughter as they share "5 nice things" about one another.

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