When we were home-schooling, my three wild ones got on well. They helped each other; they had fun together; they generally were dream children and siblings.
Sadly, with going to school and all those little attitudes they pick up, this is not the case any longer.
Bickering is the order of the day.
Until, today, I said NO!
I’m the Mom! I made house rules, years back. They still stand! Sarcasm – no matter how you are a teenager wishing to flex your snide muscle – is OUT. Bickering – regardless if you think your brother is doing something wrong or unfair – is OUT! Teasing, taunting, bullying is OUT! You think that you’re just normal kids and “all kids do this” and you can’t stop?
I’ll show you that you can stop! It’s called: Consequence.
I put a glass jar (with screw-top) up on the cupboard. The jar says “Roses Lime Marmalade”. That’s fine. Every time someone bickers, R2 fine. Every sarcastic comment – same. If there’s a tennis match of bickering and sarcasm, everyone involved gets fined. I get to keep the money – even though we’re talking birthday money, chores money, grandparents pocket money. It’s regardless how they raise the funds to pay for their misdemeanours – they can always decide to stick to my rules and NOT bicker. That is their choice.
It put a very quick blunt stop to the nerve-grating forever-bickering, tonight. Suddenly – oops – they are aware what comes out of their mouths. Let’s see if they can keep it up? Because if they can’t, I’ll be pretty rich before Christmas.
Why do I get to keep the money? Because it’s Mommy’s house rules that were violated! I’m the one who gets hurt. I created a family of amazing individuals around me, not so they could pick each other to pieces in bickers like the argumentative plebs that is the genetic flip-side of their heritage; but so that they could develop into a strong, Good, mutually supportive family where everyone could feel comforted and understood.
Because in some parts of the extended fandamily, bickering and arguing has been tuned to a fine art. And it’s just not us, and my left toe will I allow my children to head that way while they are under my roof!
So – *bright smile* – I can’t lose:
Either I get rich before Christmas
Or I get my wonderful, amazing, cohesive core family back the way they were when I was home-schooling them.