It’s a hard knock life…

the big shirtCan’t we all just get along?

The answer is NO! All we can do is try, teach others how to get along, work on ourselves and try and leave a positive influence on those around us.

Since the creation on Adam mankind has not gotten along. The history books are painted red with the blood from countless crimes, wars and atrocities since the beginning of time.

Anyone with children knows that although they look so sweet at innocent they are like everyone else… full of sin, capable of hatred, anger and selfishness all which leads to disputes, fighting, hurting others, and so on…

As a mom of 4 I am witness to many disputes ranging from trivial and easily solved to knock down drag outs that leave one or more in tears, sometimes bloody, all mad and frustrated. As each of the kids grow up and enter new phases our parenting techniques have to change with them. Sometimes we realize that later than we should have, other times I feel J and I are so on top of it we should be writing a book about it.

We work hard to try to not be yellers but instead to be teachers. It takes work to do that. More effort is needed and admittedly we both have fallen into pattern of yelling from time to time. But for a time now we have been using interesting techniques to teach our wonderful kids the lessons they need to learn instead of preaching it to them. We can talk till we are blue in the face about how they should treat each other, we can preach the golden rule all day long, we can ground them from friends if they can’t show love to their siblings all summer. (All things we have done.) But what is that teaching them? Well, not much. It may teach the standard for 5 minutes but because we have had to repeat it shows it didn’t really sink in like we wanted it to.

So we are trying to be more creative, more proactive in our discipline. Giving them something to do to learn the lesson, something that will imprint their brain on how to behave, treat others, etc…

Since everyone is home for the summer there is more time to fight, argue, not get along and be ugly to each other. So we have enlisted the big shirt method. This is something that the offenders are to wear at the same time and they cannot adjust the fitting or take it off until they have resolved the conflict, worked on a project together and had a great attitude in the process.

Over the weekend Josh and Hannah had to wear the shirt. Their time in it was short as they quickly resolved their issues and although not part of the rule with the shirt (we prefer appropriate privacy in the bathroom) they both had to use the restroom and did so while wearing the shirt and being polite enough to the other and giving each other the best form of privacy needed. Once we were aware of this we adjusted our rules that you could get out of the shirt when you need to use the restroom.

However, yesterday the shirt method had to be used on Hannah and Mercie.  These two are like oil and water most days. They are similar enough in a few areas that they do not easily get along. Hannah can be harsh in her tone and words and Mercie has followed suit. So as you can imagine the moments those two do not want to mix well it can be pretty ugly.

So yesterday Hannah was building everyone a fort in the loft. Mercie wanted to watch, be included and just be up there. Hannah wanted none of that and Mercie wasn’t going to budge and neither was Hannah. The bossiness, temper, and tones flared with Hannah. Mercie yelled back and refused to move. So the shirt came out.

Hannah was PISSED! The temper tantrum she threw the screaming into pillows, the tears and huffing and puffing could not be beat. She did not want to get along with Mercie so Mercie was pulled and tossed around a bit by Hannah. (Their height difference makes the task a bit more challenging.)

Once Hannah calmed down and realized I was not budging, that the shirt was not coming off until it was evident to me she could work with Mercie and not around her, that she would think how her actions affected Mercie and it all be done in a kind loving manner things started to look up. Their task was to build the forts in the shirt! Thankfully they got it done and executed it beautifully and with good attitudes. It all ended with them telling me what they learned and giving hugs and kisses to each other.

I won’t lie, after yesterdays trip to Target where all 4 acted like uncivilized, crazy animals I might just pick up a larger shirt they all 4 can wear at the same time and keep it in my purse….

working together


2 Responses to “It’s a hard knock life…”

  1. 1 Danielle
    June 25, 2013 at 4:58 PM

    Love it! I have thought about this method but have not put it into action yet 🙂 Thinking I just might now 🙂

    • 2 Bronwyn
      June 25, 2013 at 8:02 PM

      we haven’t had to use it since… I can ask if we need the shirt and I get quick resolutions. Hoping that sticks for the long term!!!

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