Any parent will tell you being a parent is tough! The bickering for us is the toughest of all. In our family, nothing makes mommy and daddy numb and reactive more than hearing the constant bickering between siblings! We feel our patience, gentleness, and playfulness sucked out of our eyeballs.
I think we can all agree “I’m sorry” is pretty shallow. Sorry does not pull the truck key out of the toilet, make the sibling hit stop crying, mend the broken shower rod, get the mess cleaned up or the laundry put away.
So the question I asked myself is how can I use humor and creativity to help my children sort out their differences? Sometimes I encourage them to see if they can work it out or else I will and they won’t like my solution when the sparring seems evenly matched. Sometimes one child lords power over the other so the question I pondered was “how do I help the lording have empathy and the submissive have power? And how do I do this without revenge, anger or punishment?”
So the other day we had a spitting incident. Spit is slimy. It’s cold. For most it’s disgusting. I gave the spitter a choice to take up their sisters chores OR to let their sister crack an egg on her head. Eggs are slimy. Eggs are cold. Eggs smeared over you by your sister most would agree is pretty disgusting.
Then the most amazing thing happened. The spitter really got what it felt like. The submissive got her power back. They both giggled and giggled because they were able to have a new experience together! Bonus; the dogs cleaned up the mess.
I believe life is meant to be experienced. To have fun. To try new things. To break old formulas. To take risks. To risk being judged by others. To make our own path. To give our children room to explore. To teach them empathy! Don’t be afraid to crack an egg, make a mess, ignore the rules and have some fun.