One of our frustrations is sibling rivalry. One day...it was at it's all time high. The kids were cleaning up the blanket fort they made in the basement and the boys kept picking on each other. I started my parenting "rut" by yelling down at them to knock it off or else! Or else what? I asked myself. The typical go to your room? But they have to pick up the basement!
Here's the thing....the more the pick on each other...the more I yell down at them...the more they don't listen to me...the more I get frustrated!
So...I picked myself out of my rut...and thought of a more creative way to motivate them to work together. I told them that I am only telling them one time to work together. Every time I hear them arguing or blaming or annoying each other, I will make a mark by their name on a sheet of paper. I did not tell them what the marks meant. Not only did this get their attention, it made me much more laid back knowing I didn't have to keep yelling at them.
Did they get through the whole cleaning up process with no marks? Um...no. But, I was enjoying just thinking about what these marks will mean. I finally ended up with books. Yep, each mark meant the number of books that they had to read...to each other! During their reading, they ended up laughing together.
This time...they were lucky with books....next time...those marks might mean cleaning the toilet!