Wednesday, November 17, 2010

fisticuffs and parenting

My boys have been fighting incessantly. While I have rare moments when the right words proceed out of my mouth, the usual moments involve loud words spoken with little thought.

Also known as thoughtless and immediate yelling.

As a mom, it is important to have an action plan when it comes to fighting. Yelling and losing control should not be a part of said plan.

Last week, my boys were really annoying each other. A week off of school only contributed to their foul and testy moods. Not having to do schoolwork is one thing, but having too much time on your hands only leads to trouble.

On this day, the trouble led to a full-blown fistfight with grunts and everything.

I am pretty sure that I'll get some flack for admitting this, but sometimes it makes me laugh to see them punching at each other like that.

So much so that I have to go into my bathroom and shut the door!

Give me a sash and crown me mother of the year, y'all.

How can I laugh at such a thing? Because I know that my little hoodlums love each other. With all the time spent together, they are bound to get on each others nerves sometimes.

Just as *I* get on their nerves.

{A mom would be foolish to think that she never gets on her child's nerves.}

How did I respond to their fisticuffs? What was my action plan?

I didn't yell (this time).
I didn't laugh (too much).
I did what any responsible mom of boys would do...

I sent them outside.

To pick up 4 acres worth of sticks.

In the rain.

It took them less than 10 minutes to start laughing and playing with each other once again.

They came into the house dirty, wet, happy.

Relationship restored. And yard picked up.

When my boys were little, my "go-to" action was sending them to their beds. Lights out, heads on pillow, no toys. Now that they are older (tweens even!), my go-to is a little more self serving... picking up sticks, cleaning the baseboards, and any other chore that they can do together.

Some days it works better than others. :)

Do you have a go-to discipline in your house? How do you handle sibling rivarly? What about fisticuffs?

{At the Gem & Mineral Show, Austin won me a MOOD RING from the Wheel of Fortune! Not just any old mood ring either... this one said "Princess" on it! *snort* }


Lainie said...

I'm afraid your readers without sons may not get this post and perhaps may even faint. :)

I, on the other hand, think you are brilliant and your boys are blessed to have you.

Princess Mood Ring? Score!

RaD said...

Ya know, I have to admit I wouldn't get a mother of the year award either. Sometimes I yell too much too. My plan of action usually includes me giving one or both extra chores, but to make them both do it together... hmmm... might have to try that one.

My two have never fist fought (is that a word?) each other, but since I have a boy and a girl I don't really expect this. What they do instead is try to yell over one another saying things like "No I didn't, No I didn't" or "Blah, Blah, Blah!" or call names like "Dummy face" and "Stupid head". When they resort to name calling like that I can't help but laugh too.

If it gets really heated they have been known to throw things at each other. But thankfully those moments are usually few and far between. There's a whole lotta lecturing and losin' stuff that happens when they start throwing things :)

Christine said...

I love you! My go to is yelling. In the moment yelling. Oi.

Gwen T said...

The princess mood ring? I didn't know you were royalty :)

I often use "extra jobs" as a solution/punishment/training opportunity for kids who keep getting into arguments or just have a generally bad attitude. It's amazing how hard work can get that orneriness out of their systems - plus it takes their focus off of "me, me, me".

Good post - and you seem like a pretty great mom to me!

Dawn Camp said...

Wow, you mean other people's kids fight? I had no idea! ;)

Anonymous said...

I agree with Lainie... brilliant and exactly the kind of things we do.

Yesterday, one of mine decided he needed 1/2 stick of butter on his waffles... he ate all butter and no more waffle.
We often have them "practice" too.

I admit I often resort to raising my voice and yelling... we are with our children more than most parents, and it's just gonna happen. :)

Jac said...

Far too often I also raise my voice above all the noise to get their attention and end up yelling. I know a lady who starts whispering when her kids are being too loud/misbehaving. She said it works like a charm- they immediately quiet down to try and hear her. I have yet to try it out in this house. I have a feeling my kids would just think I'm crazy and keep at it.

I never expected to see the wrestling matches/fights that I do with my two boys. I usually let it play out. (Unless someone gets really mad. Or I see blood...ha) Another mother of the year here! :) Maybe I'll try the whispering thing today- just for fun! ;)

Deedee said...

I had a very dear friend who was the wise mother of four boys. (she died last year) Her youngest was the age of my oldest so she was much more experienced than me.

She once told me that if two of her boys fight and cant' get on she tied them together - wrist and ankle!

A few months ago mine got to the point of trying to kill each other every hour on the hour for weeks!!! I couldn't take it anymore. I tied them together one morning that told they they had to spend the whole school day till supper like that!

One is left handed and the other right handed so I managed to tie them in such a way that they could still do their school work too! LOL!

For several hours they were simply writhing on the floor nearly killing each other - then one needed the bathroom! Suddenly they had to work together to sort it out as neither wanted to get 'wet'!

By the end of the day they were best of friends again and working together beautifully! Hahaha! Now I only have to get out a piece of rope and suggest tying them together and they suddenly decide that they really do love each other after all! LOL!

I like your idea too. Will have to try it........maybe picking up all the leaves by hand - hehehe!

amy in peru said...

i too often send mine out to blow off steam... ¨run AS FAST AS YOU CAN around the entire perimeter of the back yard... eight times!¨ (it´s not very big...) sometimes they´ll even tell me that they probably need to run around again... ;)

tying them together would be awesome, though it wouldn´t help a bit with your finding the whole thing irresistibly hilarious!

it helps also for my kids to have ALONE time. when there´s is absolutely no one else around them. i know i need that quite often myself ;) this requires creativity when living in a small space...

my kids are terrible with each other sometimes. i always ask them to work it out and not to let it get away from them. and remind them that they can fall into bad habits with the way they treat each other and need to remember to be respectful and kind and not just become lazy because we´re so USED to being with each other. I have to remember that too! ;)

amy in peru

Sarah said...

thank you for posting this.

my girls are 5 and 2 and have been AT EACH OTHER lately. nearly driving me crazy (crazier?)

i'm a yeller. for sure. and it totally doesn't help. thinking some alone time or stick pickin' sounds pretty good. disciplinary action and my yard gets cleaned up, i like!

my sisters were fist fighters with each other when they were in high school, to the point of bloody knuckles. it's not just boys who do it!

Unknown said...

Haha good idea with picking up the sticks! :-) I think you're a brilliant mom!

And thanks for your sweet comment on my interview at Life with Kaishon - it totally made my day!

Unknown said...

I totally try to stay out of it unless I see a pattern of bullying (and I don't have a real good solution for that one yet, except a taste of it). Picking up sticks, in the rain, was a great idea. Sounds like perfect boy fun. I think sometimes we make too big a deal about fighting and WE keep it going when they would already be playing again. I hate yelling, but occasionally I do. :(

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