Thursday, January 8, 2009

I Don't Referee

When it comes to sibling squables, and you know my secret for limiting them, I have found a way to avoid the job of referee. When two kids are arguing, regardless of who started it, they are both punished. I ask very few questions.

Example: I came downstairs to find Daniel on the ground crying. I had just asked the kids to clean up the den because Kyle was coming home and I ran upstairs for a quick pretty-up job. I asked Isaac what was wrong, and yes I was assuming Isaac was responsible for the crying. Isaac said: "I was putting away the Legos and Daniel really wanted to play with them. When I told him we had to clean up, he tried to bite me on the leg, so I pushed him down. (Now, I should mention that the area Daniel chose to bite was really close to a vital male organ. One that boys are born knowing should be protected.) I don't mess around when it comes to my future grandkids. Daniel was punished. And in this instance, Isaac was given only a talking to about better ways to elicit cooperation.
The job of a referee is to make sure the game is fair. Fairness is not my goal.

When one kid comes in crying: "She hit me!", my first question is always: "What did you do to make them want to hit you?" That almost always ends it. ;)


Laura Lee said...

(((Hi, Ginger! I'm following you over from the AO yahoo group))) ;-D

We handle things very much the same here. Funny thing, my kids, ages 11, 8, 6, and 3, never once in life complained, "It's not fair!"

Sherrie said...

Do you give punishment for arguing also? We are having an outbreak and it has to stop so I'm really trying to find wisdom.



Ginger said...

Sherrie, you're hurting my feelings! You didn't even read the first paragraph of my post did you? Wah-wah-wah!!


Sherrie said...


We are working on it... your secret that is. We have 5 and are praying about our next adoption! The bickering we have right now is actually between our newest adopted 11 year old and our birth 11 year old. Both equally willing to bicker over nothing. I think the problem is we let it go on for awhile thinking they were just working things out between them (they do love to be with each other) but unfortunately all we did
was allow a pattern to be created that is now much harder to break.

So I'm curious (your words) as to how to stop the bickering..

Sherrie said...

Okay, I just went back and reread and I see you say both are punished for arguing not just fighting. Hey, I'm slow but I finally come around :)

Heather said...

I love this post.

Dr. G said...

How was Daniel punished?

Ginger said...

He sat out while I worked on calming down his emotions (isolation allows emotions to fester, so I don't leave them alone). Then he cleaned up more than usual. It was a serious offense. My goal was for him to repent, not just say "I'm sorry."