A Creative Way To Handle Kids’ Arguments

Our boys are buds, no doubt about it… And even the best of buds get a little annoyed with each other sometimes. But on the days when I wonder if I should be wearing a black & white striped referee jersey, the days when the tattle-tailing and pettiness reach epidemic proportions, I just have to call a RESET.

It was on just such a day when I sent the boys to play quietly in their rooms while I could regroup. I prayed to God, seeking His guidance on how to proceed. I decided to have the boys each sit down and write (or draw, in the preschooler’s case) what he loved about the other and how he could show that love. I was hoping this would help shift their focus and improve their cranky attitudes towards each other… To be honest, I expected to meet with a lot of resistance, but (thankfully! remarkably? amazingly?) I didn’t!

I had the boys come back together to share aloud with one another what they’d come up with. Li’l bro enthusiastically shared his drawing of himself receiving a toy from big bro and then giving a toy to him… “Thank you for sharing with me, bubber,” he added of his own volition. Big bro shared that he liked playing with li’l bro, then added that he loved his hugs and his love. Big said he could show little bro he loved him by hugging him and then did just that, with gusto!

Were these the same siblings who were at each others’ throats minutes before?

Then they were off again, happily and harmoniously playing together. And as I mentally chalked this one up to a parenting victory, I looked again at their papers, and realized there was a valuable bit of information for me there too: the ways they had received and expressed love were indicators of their “love languages,” and great insight to how I could be sure to fill their love tanks.

{And a slight aside, speaking of love languages: Have you ever read Gary Chapman’s The Five Love Languages of Children? It’s good stuff. And while you’re at it–especially with Valentine’s day approaching–why not pick up a copy of The Five Love Languages, too? It’s cheap as chips over at Amazon right now.}

So I’m curious, how do you blow the whistle on squabbles? And when do you feel most loved? A hug–a chat–a word of encouragement–a gift–an act of service? Do tell.

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5 responses to “A Creative Way To Handle Kids’ Arguments

  1. The five love languages for children really opened my eyes to how my girls need to be told things and how the will respond better. It’s awesome!

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  4. I found your blog sometime last week, and I must admit, you have been on my mind since. I love that you can see God working in your life each day, and this inspires me. I also have three little ones, two girls (2 and 4) and a son (6). One day this week while I was working from home, the kids were just yah-yahing at each other all morning. I usually can distract them with crafts or something, but this was just not working. So, I remembered this post you made. I had the two older ones write/draw what they loved about the other, and then tell…and guess what…IT WORKED!! I called my husband almost in tears that they had stopped the yah-yahing for almost two whole hours!!!! I just wanted to drop in and say THANK YOU!, you saved my day.

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