Introducing my new advice page. (Applause! Applause!)
This page is called, Ask Maren! I know and have advice for just about everything. Seriously instead of Googling, you should just ask me. I’m usually quicker and more to the point! So feel free to email me with your questions. We are just dying to help you out with anything we can. And hopefully make you laugh, while we’re at it. 🙂
Send your questions and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Two Questions today:
How can I get my kids to stop fighting? It seems like they are never getting along?
Kids fighting can really drive a mom over the edge, that’s for sure. I had a friend who used to yell at her kids: ‘I didn’t give birth to your sibling so you would have someone to be mean to!’ It is really frustrating!
Here are a couple of ideas that I have used in the past to nip an ongoing struggle.
**Assign chores that the two squabblers have to do together. I usually make the chore something like: Empty the dishes from the cabinet, wash all of the dishes from the cabinet and then scrub the cabinet. With this, you establish some ground rules.
1. No fighting, arguing or bickering during the chore. If you hear any, make a check mark on a paper and tell the kids every check is worth 1 more chore.
2. When they have finished a chore without any fighting, they are done.
This takes a lot of Mom supervision and time, and is not for the faint of heart:) On the other hand, you get tons of ‘spring cleaning’ done:)
**Find a pretty good sized length of scripture (use Google, it’s fantastic) that has to do with love, getting along, loving your neighbor and the like. Have the offenders each read it to the other and then copy it onto paper in very good handwriting. Again the rules:
1. Any fighting etc, means more copies. (My son and daughter once copied a Proverb 20 times….)
2. When they’re done fighting, they’re done writing.
**This one is best if your kids have been clobbering each other. Take a wrist from each child and tape them together. That’s it. Assign a length of time for it to last (I usually start with an hour, depending on the seriousness of the offense.) and the same general rules apply. The more they fight, the longer they are conjoined twins for the day. I recommend an extra 15 minutes for every unkind word, jab, pinch etc. This one is best of course for a Saturday, or evening. Two kids trying to do homework together? Definitely tries their patience! I like this if you have tried other things first. It is a surprise generally, and that alone makes it effective.
**Finally, set an example of good communication, and love. If the kids see you at odds with the people in your life, they are not going to get why they have to be nice and you don’t:)
Do Mormons clap after a performance/sermon/speech in church?
Nope. Sorry, J:) Still chuckling:)
If you find yourself in an LDS church meeting, be advised that if you clap, you will be alone. And the person who took you will be very red:) And the people you tell about it will still be snorting a teensy bit on the next Thursday:) In the most loving, non-judgemental way, of course:)
If you have been the unwitting victim of a lone clapper incident, I wouldn’t worry. No one’s ever been tossed out of the church for clapping:) And, you’re not the only one. I mean in general…because, you were of course, the only one…that one time…:) Go back! No one cares! Unless of course you are committing to a pattern of clapping in LDS meetings, in which case, if you come sometime to my building, don’t sit by me:)
In all seriousness, the no clapping thing is about the reverence/sacredness of the meeting, the idea being that quiet meditation, and a feeling of silent respectfulness is more conducive to meaningful spiritual experiences. The meeting is sacred to the members, and as such, the only noises you will here are the screams of unhappy babies being carted out by their mommies:) Because that’s the other fun thing about a Mormon Sacrament meeting: We like our kids there with us.