You all had some great questions. My answers are a bit lengthy, so I am breaking this post up into 2 parts. If you still have a question that you were holding back on, fire away, there's still time!
When your girls are fighting, how do you handle it? What if they have to be punished, what do you do? (I have a bit of a different situation, I have 3 boys, but just wondering how you and your husband work through this). -Jennifer Prawat
First of all, we are learning that the difference between fighting and arguing are very different. Fighting is when there is yelling, hitting, name calling, etc., with no intent to resolve the issue. Arguing is ok if there is some sort of desire on one or both sides to solve the problem. I don't ever want to teach my kids that conflict is evil or bad. Arguing your point while treating the other with dignity and respect is a very important life skill.
But…we do have to break up a lot of fights between the girls. Mostly it's about stuff. "She touched my game." "She broke my crayon." "She's in my room again!" You get the idea. The girls have heard us say a million times over that "people are more important than stuff". I think they are learning that, but that skill is a life-long process, isn't it?
When the girls do fight, they have to immediately appologize to eachother. It has to sound sincere, usually we make them look their sister in the eyes. The other must say, "I forgive you." If the fight is really bad, or it's been going on all day long, I make them go to one of their rooms, shut the door, and work it out together. This is another important life skill for them to learn.
When their is hitting, biting, scratching, etc., they are punished pretty harshly. We do spank as a form of discipline, but usually just one or two swats to their bottom. The older 2 girls are too old for spanking, so they usually have to go to their rooms and chill out for a while, or I take something important away, like their DS games, or sometimes I even make them pay their sister a dollar. We have learned that each child is different, and we have to discipline them each in a way so they "feel" it.
When our youngest acts up, I will say to her something like, "Do you want a spank young lady?" And she will say "yes" every time. In her mind, that's the easiest, quickest way out of the situation. So, we really don't spank her hardly ever, because it does not work for her!
Discipline is an ever evolving skill. At each age and stage of our girls' lives, it's almost like we have to re-learn everything again. What worked a few months ago won't work for them now.
To answer the question more simply: Rob and I are always talking to each other about the girls and how to help them, and we pray about it a lot too.
What did or do you still do when your girls are fighting in the store? I have a 5, 3 and 1 year old and find many times myself with the 3 grocery shopping which is not fun for them or me. And we live about 30 mins away from the store. Any tips would be amazing! -Jenny Johnson
I usually avoid taking all 3 of them shopping with me at all costs. They are normally very good in the store, but they get goofy, crazy, and silly. It's hard for me to get the shopping done when I am constantly trying to get them to stop being silly and keep up with me.
Normally even before we get in the store, I will talk with them about how I expect them to act. They are old enough to know how to behave. If they do happen to fight, have a tantrum, or are acting crazy, I stop them, and remind them about our talk. If they continue the bad behavior, I start taking privilidges away from them. Lets say we're in Target and one of them is getting a new t-shirt or coloring book or something…I'd just go put it back without making too much of a fuss.
I never yell loudly, spank, or embarrass my kids in public. We handle the discipline at home. With a 1 yr. old, I would deal w/the situation as best as you can in public, by telling them "no", but I have learned that disciplining a baby in a store is really not that effective.