Ah, the joys of parenthood playing games, teaching life lessons and…breaking up fights. It is truly amazing to me the things that kids will fight about. Who’s toys who’s, he touched me, and my personal favorite who seen the horse in the pasture first. Really!! Of course anyone with kids of their own knows all to well the ridiculousness that can ensue when two siblings decide to go at it. And honestly I had given up the idea that there was a way to keep these fights from happening. That is until recently during one of their battle royals when I had a brain storm that actually worked. Let me explain what happened.
Every night before bed our kids pick out a story book that they want us to read to them. Then with books in hand my oldest would go to his mom and our youngest to me and we would read them their stories and this is the way it was for months and months. That is until a few weeks ago when both boys decided that they wanted mommy to read their story. My kids stood next to their mom fighting about who was going to go first. This was insanity at its best and I couldn’t help but laugh or I would have probably cried. Anyways, as they stood there crying and arguing I instantly flashed back to my baseball days when we would flip a coin to see who got to bat first and I thought to myself hey what have I got to lose. So I got the boys to stop yelling long enough to tell them to come into the kitchen which is where I keep my pocket change. As we walked away from my wife who was sitting in recliner in the living room she flashed me this look of what in the world are you doing I think she thought I finally snapped.
When we got in the kitchen I went to my change and got one of the old quarters one that had George Washington’s head and an eagle. I thought they would like the eagle being that they are really into birds right now. As I stood there showing them the quarter and explaining what it was and what we were going to do with it they completely forgot all about the fighting. They didn’t even fight over who got which side. One son picked the head the other the eagle which I explained was known as tails. I placed the quarter on my thumb and finger and flipped it as high as I could trying to make the whole process as cool as I could. When the coin landed and I flipped it over onto my back of my other hand they couldn’t wait to see who had won. Now I can’t remember now who won but I do remember extremely well how awesome they thought the coin flip was and how they just walked back into the living room the winner getting on mommies lap and the other sitting on the floor next to her waiting his turn. It was AWESOME!! Of course since my wife had stayed in the living room the whole time enjoying the quit she had no idea what I had done and she was floored by the way they were acting when they came back in the room. After finishing the books, rocking the boys and putting them to bed she immediately came out and asked me what I did. When I told her it was a coin toss she could believe it saying “You’ve got to be kidding me, that’s it?”
So after that night both my wife and I continued to use the coin toss to help with the fighting. On several occasions the boys even asked us to do it. Now I’m not going to lie and say that this ended all the fighting because it didn’t. After the new wore off it kind seemed to lose it’s power. Sometimes we’ll go through the process and one of the two boy’s wont care that he lost and continue to fight and other times they don’t want to do it at all. But it does still work enough times to at least try.
After seeing the positive results from the simple coin toss trick I started trying to think of other similar tactics to use and what follows are all the ones I could come up with.
- Coin Flip
- Paper Rock Scissors
- Draw Straws
- Pick a # from 1-10
- Names in a hat
- Cutting Cards
- Toss Dice
Now I haven’t tried all of these but eventually I will. Most that I have tried seem to work at least at first. And besides helping with end the fighting I also like the fact that I can teach my boys something new that is very basic to you and me but that they absolutely love. And isn’t that what having kids is all about, having fun when you can and making the best of the not so good times.
I hope you can use these little tricks on your kids and have good results. They take very little time and can be quite fun and educational. And if you have any tricks and fight resolvers yourself please leave a comment below and tell us all about them. Every little bit helps. Thank you for stopping by and if you enjoyed what you have just read please share it with your friends on Facebook, Twitter or any of the other social networks it would be much appreciated.