Wednesday, July 11, 2007

WFMW (updated)


Are you having one of those days when a couple of your children can't seem to stop bickering with each other?

Try this: have them sit together, holding hands for 5 minutes and pray about the situation and for each other. We tried this technique on the 4th of July with our 12 and 14 year old girls when they just couldn't get along for more than a few minutes while they were together helping with our celebration preparations. It was driving me nuts! Finally, I told them they had to do this. You would have thought that I had just asked the 12 year old to hold a red hot poker but she did it. And the results where...REMARKABLE! (Thanks God!) The rest of the day they were cooperative, kind, really a lot help, and a joy to have around; I couldn't have done without them.

And lest you think that it only works for older kids - the other day, just the threat of having to sit on the couch, holding hands with each other, (I hadn't even mentioned the praying part yet) got two of my boys (ages 9 & 7) to quit fighting with each other and play together kindly.

(Obviously, you can adjust the time needed according to the age of the children involved. Maybe you can tell them that they have to sit and pray together until they're ready to cooperate and work/play together nicely. If they're right back to bickering, send them back to the couch together for more prayer & quiet time.)

Works for me!


More great WFMW tips.

Update: If you're not comfortable the the praying part of this, you could modify it and just have your kids sit together holding hands and then have each of them take turns listing 5 (or more) things that they like and appreciate about the other. If they finish quickly, then they would sit quietly together.

13 comments:

elaine said...

Wow! You are my hero. Can't wait to see what happens when a 2 year old and 6 year old try this.

mummymac said...

I'm thinking this might work here to

Many thanks

Beck said...

That would really work at my house...
except I can't think of what to suggest to the kids to say while they're praying. Any ideas?

Sarah said...

Oh what a good idea! My 2 and 4 year olds seem to always be at each others throats lately. They love saying grace before dinner so maybe they will be up for this too!

Sarah said...

Beck, I think for my boys I'll have them say something like, "Dear God, please help us be nice to each other and remember that we are brothers and we love each other. Amen." I think the easier it is, the better it will work. :)

PastorMac's Ann said...

Great question Beck. Keeping it simple is a great idea, Sarah. Especially if your kids are younger.

We just told them to ask God to help them get along and to help them appreciate each other. We suggested they tell God what they each liked about the other. And when they were finished they had to apologize to each for the way they had treated each other and ask for forgiveness. If they finished quickly then they could sit together quietly.

painted maypole said...

What a great idea - I only have one child, but could pray with her instead of doing a time out. Thanks!

Poppy Fields said...

I might just try this with my 7 and 9 year old girls the next time they are fighting.

Susanne said...

This is a great idea, Ann. I could have used this years ago. I remember one time I was at the end of my rope and remembered reading that Ruth Bell Graham had one time made the two fighters sit with their noses touching for 5 minutes. After only a minute her kids were laughing and stopped fighting. I tried that. With mixed results. LOL!

Ginny said...

Thanks for the added update, I like the idea of listing good things about each other!

poshmuks said...

What a great approach! I believe this will work to handle children who are quite stubborn to get on well with others.
Thanks a great deal.

Kasi @ Reynlds Rap said...

We do something like this....when our boys get a bit out of hand with each other, I have them hold hands and sing 'You Are My Sunshine' to each other! I think I'll have them end the song in prayer!

Susanne said...

Tagged you Ann! Come on over and get it.