I love all your parenting ideas, and am wondering what some things were that you did when your kids were really young (like under 5, toddlers, etc). Discipline, traditions, etc.. I have really young kids and am always looking for new ideas.
My favorite discipline tactic for younger children is one we adapted from my parents. (Are you surprised?)
It’s the “fighting bench.” (Well, they changed the name to the “repenting bench” to put a more positive spin on it when I got older, but in my mind it’s still the “fighting bench.”)
My parents bought this bench in England when we were young and put it prominently in our kitchen. Whenever we got in a fight we had to sit there with the person we were “tangling” with (as my mom’s words “it takes two to tangle” rang through our heads).
We had to sit there until we took ownership of what WE did wrong.
Oh how we itched to just rattle off all the bad things our “bench partner” did, but that was forbidden. We had to fess up and take responsibility for what we personally did to perpetuate the fight.
And then we had to apologize.
And then we had to hug.
I know that sounds icky because isn’t it horrible when you’re really mad at someone and you have to touch them let alone hug them? But by the time we had gone through what we did wrong and said we were sorry the hugging didn’t seem so bad.
I swear this practice helped us all become the great friends we are. It helped us take ownership of our actions and helped us bond together.
Although we are not the proud owners of an antique bench from England in our family, we have found that sitting on a stair works just as well. I still have my kids sit on the stair from time to time when they argue.
Give it a try.
It is a miraculous thing.