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Tired and Hangry

We’ve all been there. One minute everything is fine, even peaceful. The children are playing nicely, everyone is happy.
Then a switch is flicked and you’re in the middle of a nightmare.
Every child is crying, screeching, shouting. They all want to be heard, so the volume rises until your brain is about to explode. And only one phrase can end the pain:
“Let’s have something to eat!”
Sure, at least one will scream that no, they don’t want any stinking food, but they always do.
Kids get hangry. I feed mine every 3-4 hours or suffer the consequences. Some days it feels as though I live in the kitchen, which sucks.
But I digress. Kids argue and it’s always high drama when it happens.
With this in mind, I read with interest an article on Get Along Jars. In fact, I read several articles.
The idea is simple: have a jar filled with lolly sticks. Each stick has written on it an activity for the kids to do together when they are arguing.
One of these was “give each other a hug”.
Have you ever seen the look in a child’s eye when they’ve been wronged by their sibling? If you have, you’ll know that  there’s no chance in hell that there will be any hugging in the foreseeable future.
I’m sure the Get Along Jar works for many people. It’s like any parenting advice – will work for some and not for others.
My kids argue when they are tired and when they are hungry. Forcing them into each other’s company at such a time to teach them about arguing would be massively counterproductive. You wouldn’t do it to arguing adults, would you? You’d be telling them to go and cool off.
I did try it one time, for the sake of experimenting. Let’s just say it wasn’t a success and move swiftly on.
Kids need space as much as adults do. It seems more respectful to diffuse the situation, hand out consequences where required and then remove them from each other’s company.
It works here at any rate.
Maybe the togetherness activity could be used later on when tempers are less frayed, but to be honest, later on they are best friends again anyway.
Tired and hungry = space and food.
A simple equation, for sure. If only the rest of life problems were so easy to solve!


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