With four kids, refereeing can seem like a full time occupation – one I am not interested in having.
We’ve always tried to stress the “try to solve it yourself” method with our kids. At first it was because it made our lives easier and it’s a skill they need to learn. But it dawned on me when Noah was about 5 that this was the biblical model of conflict resolution us adults are taught.
If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. Matthew 18:15-16
So in our house the rule is you have to talk to that person first. If they won’t listen, apologize, etc then you can involve a parent. There is still a moderate amount of tattletelling that goes on. Mostly because someone will be doing something annoying and the other sibling will say “stop” and the first child keeps doing it and so the second child yells “Maaaawwwwmmmmm” all within a span of about 30 seconds.
Not exactly what I was talking about.
But the other day I was thumbing through the Thriving Family magazine from Focus on the Family and stumbled on someone’s GENIUS idea!
She makes her kids file a WRITTEN complaint. Only then will she review it. She said that most of the time when they’re reminded of the policy they decide it’s not worth it. The blurb didn’t go into too much detail about what she requires on her kid’s complaint but I was already drafting a form in my head and doing that slightly evil, yet motherly, “I’ve got you now my pretties” laugh.
It’s not done yet but it’s going to include the following.
My conflict is with _________________________
He/she __________________________________ (what is conflict)
I did ______________________________________ (cuz it’s never just one persons fault)
I tried to resolve the conflict by ________________________________________
What I want to happen to resolve the conflict is _________________________________
I AM MOM, HEAR ME ROAR!!!