These days it's not odd for the following drama to unfold.
The (almost) 2 year old: "NO, DREW!"
The (almost) 6 year old: "MOM! ISRAEL HIT ME!"
The 6 year old: "NO!!!! STOP IT"
The 2 year old: "Wah! Drew push me!"
The one in the whom: KICK! (Just for good measure I guess.)
They just can't seem to play nice sometimes. I was praying about it this morning, after telling the children they WOULD behave while I took my shower. I was thinking we needed something to get them out of this funk, as repeated discipline wasn't quite doing it. Then, an idea. Illustrations and metaphors work particularly well for my 6 year old and as the 2 year old mostly copies her behavior, I'm hoping this works!
Don't Be a Rain Cloud: Mommy Lesson Number One
We sat down to do school and I told Drew and Israel we were starting with a Mommy Lesson today. Since I haven't done that before they were very interested and Israel was excited to be included.
I began to speak as I drew a fluffy cloud and raindrops. Me: "What are rainy days like?" Replies included, "Cold. Wet. Dark. Rain, rain go away." Me: "And what if you want to play outside on a rainy day, you can't then, can you? That makes you sad." I went on to draw the rest of the picture and we talked about things that people do that can make you sad (rain on you.) We took turns telling examples of how Israel can be a rain cloud to Drew by saying no to her, hitting her, pinching her, and ruining what she wants to play with. And we talked about how Drew is like a rainy day on Israel when she won't play with him, yells at him, and shoves him. "That makes it like a cloudy, wet, dark, cold, sad day in your heart."
Then I started to draw our sunny days and we talked about how beautiful, bright, and warm sunny days are and how pleasant it is to play on a sunny day. We talked about how we can make people feel warm and happy inside by loving them and doing things to bless each other. The kids listed things they do that make each other happy. On our list were: hugs, playing together, talking nicely, being gentle, and giving.
Last we talked about how to act when someone is like a rainy day to you. "How do you respond when someone is mean to you?" We discussed "putting on our warm clothes, our rain boots, raincoat, and using our umbrellas" and that we can do this by forgiving. We talked about how to respond (No, thank you.) and that we don't have to let a rainy day, or someone else in a bad mood, make us mean too.
The kids wanted to color the pictures.
Voila, beautiful children playing peacefully together. Well, maybe not for long, but I can envision myself saying, "Don't be a rain cloud!" and the smile of the happy little girl on the sunny day popping into my 6 year old's head and transferring to her face. It just might help.
By the way, you're welcome to use the pictures I drew if you'd like. And you can feel free to copy my lesson if you desire. You know, just in case your kids are less than perfect too. :) Please ask permission first, before using other photographs that appear on my blog. Thank you! And may you have a sunny day.