Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Bathroom

I took a shower this morning at a different time; I usually listen to David Jeremiah each morning, and right now he is preaching on Revelation and I am so enjoying it! But, for some strange reason, my schedule was a bit off this morning and instead of Turning Point, Focus on the Family was on. Now that I write this...I am not even 100% positive it was FOF. Hmmmm.

Well, the point of the show, whatever it was, was about parenting. And, oh, how I need godly advice on parenting every day! I freely admit...I am stumbling along pretty clueless sometimes. So, someone asked the guest how to handle sibling arguments. The guest said, "Well, I put my kids who are arguing into the smallest, most boring room of the house for 15 minutes. The bathroom."

I chuckled. Then I wondered, "Should I try this?"

One of my goals as a mother is to raise children who love each other, get along and find themselves actually wanting to be with each other. My heart breaks when they tear each other down with their words or actions, so I am always on the look-out for a great parenting tip that deals directly with this issue.

And, praise God, I was given a chance about 6 hours later to try out the bathroom idea.

I had been watching George and Lincoln fight over a ball for about 20 minutes. I was getting dinner ready and could see them from my window. Lincoln had a ball. George wanted the ball. And I watched George chase Lincoln round and round the car. It was actually pretty hilarious; round and round and round, running as fast as they possible could. Then, the inevitable happened....George caught up to Lincoln. The ball is stripped from Lincoln's sure hands, the ball goes scrambling across the driveway and George ends up with the ball. Lincoln's cry could be heard about 3.7 miles away... I am sure of that!

They were both angry. Both crying (after Lincoln took a swipe at George and the ball). Both came stomping in the house. Clearly, no one was at fault; they were just being brothers...as usual. So...into the bathroom they go!

The looked at me as if I had a third eye-ball. There were no arguments...I told them both I would not listen to either one as they blammed the other. They had 10 minutes to hang in the bathroom with the goal of coming out no longer angry at each other. There were some more tears, some more protests, but I ignored them.

Then, something happened. About 6 minutes into the experiment, I heard the two of them simply talking to each other. I opened the door and they were intently looking at something that Lincoln broke (not good, I know, but it got them off of fighting). I asked them if they were ready to come out. George immediately said he was sorry. Lincoln said, "I forgive you." They started to walk out when I said, "Um...Lincoln? You have something to say, too."

Lincoln got the most sincere look on his face and said, "Georgie, I am sorry."

They hugged and ran out happy as can be...until the next time....

I think they went into that bathroom and could not escape each other, and in that close quarters, they both came together to investigate something. And in that moment, the anger was gone and they were simply brothers again. They realized that if they held the grudge, they would not have enjoyed that moment. They would have missed an opportunity to simply have fun. Being brothers is much better.


milreb said...

Interesting technique! Think it works for husbands and wives?

The Peyton Family said...

I love it! We use this sometimes at our house and it is very effective. I would say the ONLY time it is not effective is when the emotions are still running VERY hot and one child is older than the other. I've listened at the door and found that the older child uses the time to threaten and bully the younger child, in which case parent-administered discipline is in order! But, for the average, daily argument it's definitely the trick! Good for you!