Okay, I’m just going to say it… My kids annoy the living $%@! out of me on a regular basis. Just what annoys me can vary from day to day, hour to hour, moment to moment, but lately the overriding issue has been bickering. It is non-stop! All I hear all-day, every day are cries of “Mommy, he did this,” and “Mommy, she did that,” with screams of “STOP IT!” and crying fits smattered into the mix, just to keep things interesting. Now as a mother who is trying to work from home, this tends to make it a tiny bit hard to concentrate. My solution? Yelling. I find myself yelling so much at times, I wonder if I’ve forgotten how to talk. I truly understand my mother now. She had three of us. The fact that we all survived and are more or less untraumatized is a testament to her power of restraint, but I digress…
Recently, my mother in law gave me a piece of advice, as to something she did with her kids, that I found so amusing I actually gave it a try. I have dubbed it the Hug Out. It works just like a timeout, except the children are forced to sit and hug each other for a pre-determined amount of time. Sounds crazy right! That’s what I like about it.
Now I’ve only tried this with the kids a couple times, but I’ve threatened it a ton. I tell the kids that if they won’t love each other, I’ll make them love each other – to which, of course, they laugh at me. But I got the last laugh when I made them sit for 3 minutes and hug. Actually, we all laughed out a**es off, but they’re still young. They still like each other for the most part. What really gives me a charge is thinking about how they’ll react to this as teens – oh yes! It will be done.
Will this force feeding love actually work to make them closer, more loving siblings? I don’t know, but if nothing else, it provides me with a bit of entertainment and what mom can’t use more of that?