Look how sweetly the big two are interacting.
What this photo doesn’t show is the majority of the time, these two are hell-bent on destroying each other, physically and mentally.
The week leading up to Halloween is always chaotic. There are so many parties, so many expectations, costumes to organize and treats to prepare. Matt was travelling for work, and I was doing a shitty job “parenting myself.” I was staying up way too late, resulting in a run-down version of myself.
I had zero patience for their bickering, which starts the second, they enter the same room and every time they see each other throughout the day. It’s exhausting. They are drawn to each other, but only to make the other miserable.
And then Mommy lost her shit.
By Wednesday, I broke… or did I?
Maybe I figured out a secret. Perhaps I levelled up my parenting game and now I am going to share my “Shitty Parenting Advice” with you.
Aren’t you lucky?
Usually, I am a broken record endlessly telling them to stop. Explaining they are supposed to have each others back. Explaining we gave them the gift of each other so they wouldn’t be alone in this world. Threatening to take away privileges and separating them only to have them come back to each other over and over again.
As I stood exhausted in my bedroom, I had to choose between explaining, threatening or separating. I decided on a new tactic.
Then something amazing happened. They stopped bickering immediately and stared at me with wide eyes, and then the relentless fighting ceased for one blessed minute. It was a short-lived victory, but a victory nonetheless.
They were forced to stop and think about how badly they wanted to fight. It made them realize that I wasn’t going to protect them. They also had to unite to figure out just how crazy their mom was.
In the end, I want them to have each other’s backs. My goal is to raise kind, resilient, independent humans. They need to know I won’t always be there when their mouths write cheques their asses can’t cash.
Am I onto something or is this bordering on child abuse? I’m considering creating a boxing ring in my basement. Aye or Nay?
What are your tactics to get your kids to stop fighting?
Originally posted to Instagram November 7, 2019