It is late January and my home is knee deep in the post-holiday let down, pre-birthday craze, cabin fever zoo/mess! Now that I’ve finally packed up all the holiday stuff and the new toys have been well broken in, it seems we are back to hearing the mantra, I’m bored! There’s nothing to do and the incessant whining or fighting between the kids. Today, all I can think about is how spoiled my children can be! They don’t even know how lucky they truly are; it saddens and frustrates me. Granted we don’t have an extravagant lifestyle by any means, as we are somehow living on one income, but I do my best to provide games, toys and resources for the kids that, in my mind, enable them to never have nothing to do. Of course every mother wishes her children would be grateful and enjoy what is offered, but too often they act as if it is just never enough. Sometimes I just want to yell, Enough! myself!
None of us enjoy the cold weather, but we live in upstate NY, so we hunker down inside our little four square home and basically drive each other crazy. Yuck! Mommy longs for peace and quiet while the kids are running around with Batman wings and vampire teeth or ballet shoes and tiny dollies. They shriek in joy and cry in frustration as they attempt to play their way or vie for Mommy’s attention. Despite the age range (2.5 yrs. 7.5 yrs. & 9 yrs. next month) and the issues of the older two, I have to acknowledge that there are many moments when they do play in relative peace with the kindness I crave and the cooperation that seems so rare. Those really are the moments I NEED to capture in my memory and hold tight. More often than not though, I tend to dwell on my frustrations with those exacerbating situations of sibling rivalry and growing individual defiance.
I know there are truly wise and creative readers out there who can relate and maybe even provide some solutions. What have you found helpful when your children are at each other’s throats or you’re about to ring theirs I keep thinking about something James Lehman said in his article, I Love My Child…But Sometimes I Can’t Stand Him!: Think more about the solution, and less about the problem.
This is exactly what I have to do, but I know I need more solutions because what I’m doing isn’t working. I have to make our home a safe haven rather than a battle ground. I do believe that finding a way to frequently and consistently separate my two oldest into different activities would greatly reduce the irritation they feel for one another, but we sure don’t have the money to pay for lessons, sports, or other classes for each of them.
What do I do besides the headache of trying to schedule play-dates And what do you do to keep your kids from fighting all the time, especially for those of you who are cooped up inside in the winter Help!