Bickering between siblings. It is something that we parents know all too well. It can happen anywhere, and, unfortunately, at any time. It can involve something major, but it usually involves something minor. Let’s face it: This here parenting thing is probably most difficult when our kids are arguing, fussing, and fighting. If you’re like me, nothing tests your patience like two (or more!) siblings who absolutely refuse to get along.
Due to the aforementioned frustration, I often find myself seeking new and creative methods for combatting the combat. My most recent technique for facilitating family friendliness worked so well that I thought I should share it with you.
While my kids were recently on the verge of yet another World War 3, I found myself growing increasingly helpless. Completely desperate and in need of some positive vibes, I suddenly found the lyrics to The Beatles’ “We Can Work It Out” running through my head:
Life is very short, and there’s no time
For fussing and fighting, my friend
I have always thought that it’s a crime
So I will ask you once again
Try to see it my way
Only time will tell if I am right or I am wrong
While you see it your way
There’s a chance that we may fall apart before too long
We can work it out
We can work it out
The random mental British invasion of togetherness and reconciliation inspired me to yell the following: “You guys are not only going to listen to this song a dozen times, you are also going to write the lyrics until you memorize them!”
My kids stopped yelling at each other and looked at me with looks of uncertainty as to whether or not I was serious. I was. And I did make them listen several times to the Lennon/McCartney classic. Best of all was their surprising willingness to write, by hand, the lyrics ten times. They pouted about it, but I think they secretly enjoyed my innovative way of handling the situation. Plus, they really did memorize the song, and I have since heard them sing it when they think I am not paying attention.
I have no illusions that methods like these will forever prevent future armageddons. But they do lighten the mood and redirect children’s energy towards something positive. Best of all, my kids learned yet another life lesson from the Fab Four. The writing of the lyrics was meant to penalize them for fighting, but the exposure to such wisdom was impactful. The Beatles were right: Regardless of how big or small our family squabble, we can, with a little creativity and effort, work it out.