(trick question.. of COURSE you have!)
Maybe you've thought to yourself, "I should probably tell/ask them to stop doing that."..
and then you haven't bothered because
a. they probably won't listen
b. they'll probably complain/wine and you just don't want to listen to that
c. you're just too tired and worn out to talk (ha!)
We, the parents, don't bother to say anything when it
starts to happen and before you know it, that behaviour
has become normal/expected/"okay" in their minds.. and
it becomes difficult to stop it.]
...and by the way, I've come to this conclusion by experience ;)
As the school year started, it didn't take more than 2 school days for me to notice that my girls were coming home from school extra tired, worn out from their day, and less patient in general. This easily led to them fighting with each other.
Coming off of a summer of having them with me pretty much 24-7, I could see a distinct change very quickly and I knew that this was not something that I wanted to become the norm. I guess I was having a good parenting day (maybe I had some stored up patience and energy from my first couple of days sans kids?) because I decided on the spot that I was going to set some expectations for them.
So, on the way to the library after school, I stopped them on the sidewalk and said I needed to talk to them. I told them that I understood that after a long day at school they would probably feel kind of worn out and that it is easier to get frustrated or upset when you are tired out. Then I told them that even when you are worn out, it is still not okay to be unkind to each other. I told them that we needed to be kind to each other because we love each other and our home and our family needs to be a happy place for everyone in our family.
They nodded their heads as if they understood and I felt like from that moment on, I could easily remind them to stick to that.
...and guess what... It has been working!
They are not perfect (I am not perfect), but we are working on it. Because the expectation has been set, it is far easier to try to keep them in check!
Anything you've tried recently with your kids that's working well?
I'd love to hear about it in the comments!
Seriously guys... it makes my day when you take a minute to comment!