Topic | No ones getting along?

This topic contains 7 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  Rebekahy 7 years, 8 months ago.

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  • Misty

    I need help.  Our children are just not getting along.  Our children are boys 11, 10, 8, 6, 3.5 (and girl 1 she’s not a problem Wink).

    Let me explain.  For some reason lately, say the last month things are really getting bad.  They put eachother down.  They are snotty in there speach.  They are evil int plotting things out.  They look at eachother in such evil ways.  They laugh when someone is getting in trouble.  And they are so “SELFISH” it kills me.  Sometimes when they are being unselfish I find out as I watch it really boils down to a selfish want in the end. I wont even go on.

    When I read that they sound so horrible.  But they can also be so kind and fun.  We went to the Mall of America (we live in MN) to use the wristbands in the park which there godparents give them every year.  They stayed close by, were very well behaved, waited nicely with rides.. but see to me it’s a selfish thing again.  It was all about them.

    I need help.  When they sass we do Apple cider viniger.. and they don’t like it but it isn’t helping either.  When they argue we ask questions that make them think, and they forgive/or say I’m sorry and move on.

    I believe I’ve lost there hearts (tears..).  I have read aloud with my dh Loving our kids on purpose, it was  a great book, and some of the items work well with us, I’ve read raising godly tomatos and I keep the little ones underfoot 90% of the time (I need them 100% I know).

    They don’t even like eachoter lately, they say things like I hate you to eachother.  I don’t get it.  My dh and I don’t talk like that, we monitor the movies (on sunday nights only) they watch, and the only people who do act rude and terrible are my parents.  But I want them to see our children. 

    I know this is a big post with a lot going on.  But any help would be great.  We spend an hour once a week with one child and the others have quiet alone time.  We love our children very much.  I am not perfect in any regard, you would not look at me and say I wish I was like her.  I have many flaws that I continue to ask the Lord to work on in me.  But I just want the children to get along at this point I don’t even care if they like eachother as long as they can get along and be kind.

    This is a ramble of thoughts but I felt like I could post this here and look to you for wisdom and understanding.  Thanks for listening.  Misty


    First of all Misty, {{HUGS}}.  That is a hard place to be at.  We have been struggling with some friction in sibling relationships the last few weeks as well.  part of it is the fact that we are snowed in, and the snow just keeps coming.  It is too deep for my little ones to go out in, and too hard (we’ve had ice layers with the snow) for anyone to go in.  The temps are well below freezing daily.  One area I know helps is simply getting all their energy out, enough that they can be tired.  Finding outlets for that in the house is something I’m working on (running, obstacle courses, jumping on the mini trampoline, etc).  I am also trying to offer productive work opportunities for each child.  (My girls are 8 and 4, boys are 5, 2, 1).  Daily quiet time without others is a must.  Beyond that we are simply trying to keep everyone within our sight/hearing to run interference.  When two children argue they lose the opportunity to be out of sight and must follow us from room to room.  Mouthy words (rude, unkind, disrespectful) mean a loss of all sweet foods (fruit, juice, dessert) because they are not being sweet to others.  Physical attacks of any kind (hit, push, shove, kick, elbow) are grounds for time in bed and loss of all privelages.  They are no longer allowed to join in family activities for a period of time (shorter for the little ones, longer for the older ones).  So if we are playing a game, they can watch but not play.  If we are baking something, they cannot help (or eat it!). 

    We have an If/Then chart that we have used as well, it takes us out of the equation and gives the chldren consequences that they helped choose when we set up the chart.  You can ours here:

    We’re very much a work in progress here still.  Sigh.  Just finished watching Laying Down the Rails workshop with DH last night and I finished reading the book yesterday as well.  Time to get to work!


    Misty, Thanks for sharing your struggles in this area.  I have found myself recently seeking all sorts of parenting advice from experienced moms.  I have two children 9 & 7.  They go back and forth between being best buddies and worst enemies – frustrated and vocal when one looks at the other, which leads to ill tempers, unkind words and more. 

    One thing that has helped in our family is my working on Boundaries – I think the author is Cloud.  I don’t allow bickering, unkind words – so I told both children that they may not speak to each other in that way, either in or out of my presence.  The alternative would be that they could sit in silence at the kitchen table while I did something enjoyable for me – or with a non-offending child.  I have had to make it that they are not allowed to be together unsupervised (for a time).  I am seeking consequences that effect the children.  These are their problems that they need to overcome.  This is an exchange for what happened recently – the consequence was that I got upset and they saw me loose my joy and control. 

    Another thing I would recommend is family read alouds.  Books – whether the first Boxcar children mysteries, Little Men (our current read aloud) – or other well written stories especially ones that model relationships – and the solving a problems could be beneficial.  You get an enjoyable all together experience, popcorn or other snack, and examples of life from other families. 

    Be of good courage – You can have a family you enjoy!



    Misty, believe me when I say “You are not alone!”  I think this is something we all face at some point or another in our family.  I just want to recommend a book to you that I think in invaluable on the subject of discipline.  It is called Heartfelt Discipline by Clay Clarkson.  The author takes a different approach to discipline, dealing with the matters of the childs heart rather than just punishing bad behavior.  It is based on  biblical principals and the author uses scripture as a foundation for all his methods.  I definitely think it is worth reading and may help you out.





    I agree with Michelle about getting to the heart. I have had a terrible rash on my back for a few years, and the dermatologist just keeps giving me ointment. The stuff works-for the moment. I use it and the rash goes away for a week or two. Then when I’m not using it, the rash comes right back. They haven’t address the cause of the problem, and it returns without fail.

    Lately I’ve been thinking about addressing the cause of problems between the kids rather than just dealing with the particular behavior. Today, I told them if they trusted each other to care about each other, they would not be afraid “I won’t get my share of the apple!” or whatever the current problem is.

    I think if I gave them more opportunities to serve each other, that might help. I need to figure out how to inspire them to be on each other’s team and put the other first. Their dad and I always want to give the other the better “whatever” and take the small, broken, burnt, etc. one for ourselves. We treat non family members like that too. They’ve seen us take the yummy meal to a family who needs help while we eat pj’s for dinner, and other things of that nature.

    So where did they miss the example. I’m not saying we’re perfect AT ALL. But We certainly don’t treat each other the way they do! I’d like some suggestions on how to get them on a team.


    I requested Heartfelt Discipline from the library.  Thanks for the suggestion.

    That’s all I want for them to be on the same team.  My dh and I are not selfish people we do all the time for the kids and others.

    I want there heart and I’ve read 3 books on getting it.  But for some reason I just don’t get “it”, or how to get them to work on “giving it”.  What am I missing.

    Thank the Lord every day I get to try again and reach them! 

    Betty Dickerson

    Misty, I’m reading a book called A PRAYING LIFE by Paul E. MIller and it is soo good, so refreshing.  He has reminded me that it’s all about prayer.  We need to talk to God more about our kids (specifically praying for them and venting to Him about them) and say less to our kids (not less about the Lord).  God is the One who changes hearts.  We are totally helpless and it’s great the sooner we realize it because that’s when we will start depending on Him more.  I’ve read many if not all of the parenting books (because I’m a reader) and have had to set them all aside and just work on me and the Lord.  Once that is my priority, it is amazing what God is freed to do in my home.  You will start seeing the Lord’s hand in your children’s lives more.  But I can’t require from the children what I don’t have.  When my heart is resting in Christ, the whole house is affected.  ONly He can fix our homes. 

    I’m not saying there isn’t any value to the parenting books, there is always something to learn.  But these parenting books are what God gave the AUTHOR once they sought Him about THEIR families.  HE will give you the same grace!  He gives grace to the humble (those who realize they are utterly hopeless and helpless without Him).  That’s HIs promise and He will see it through.  Be encouraged!


    Misty – if you still have Raising Godly Tomatoes (or just visit their website) there is a chapter on siblings, but if you click this link and scroll ALL the way to the bottom there’s a quick read on Mass Bickering  Hope that’s a helpful review of the principles you’re using with you’re little ones already. I think one of the key things that we need to consider is keeping a very structured schedule for our kids when we have them with us and each other ALL day long – a lesson I would do better learning than teaching to others…. in that post she talks about knowing what we want our children to do and letting them know, if we have structured tasks for them, I think it eases frustration of being unproductive and helps reduce the temptation to create your own drama.  I know it’s hard to keep that many kids on task, but it might be less work or at least less stressful than their current behaviour.

    Thanks so much for sharing!


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