"Your body is the first thing any child of man ever wanted. Therefore dispose yourself to be loved, to be wanted, to be available. Be there for them with a vengeance. Be a gracious, bending woman. Incline your ear, your heart, your hands to them.... To be a Mother is to be the sacrament - the effective symbol - of place. Mothers do not make homes, they are our home." from Bed and Board, Robert Farrar Capon

Friday, May 24, 2013

Work Worketh Wonders

When your kids just can't seem to do something without arguing, here's a simple solution.


Tell them, "Since you can't have fun together you obviously need some work."
Just try it (many of you probably already do). 

Just this morning (it's a day off for our school's younger grades today - long story) one of my sons came in tattle-taling on the other in the midst of their early morning fort making (Argg, if anything can grind on me, it's this! - not the fort making, the TATTLE-TALING!) and in an unusually calm mode I said, "Ok then, done playing, time to clean up.  I've got plenty of jobs for you both, since you like to argue. Go get the bucket and some soap and rags."

Just watch how fast they back-track on their previously important accusations toward one another and the brotherly love begins oozing from both sides. 

It's up to you at this point whether you give them another chance or not.  I did.  This time.


  1. Yes, work worketh. I have doled out chores many times when children don't seem content to play together. But your ending made me smile. You ole softy.

  2. oooh great reminder, thank you. It's mama boot camp around here these days, what with summer starting and all, and tattling is at the top of my hit-list. this is a great consequence. (laps around the house is my other favorite.)

  3. What a confirmation! I have been doing that with mine for the last few weeks and it is funny to see the change. My 5 year old has just kicked tattle taling into high gear and it drives me crazy! Of course being the oldest in my family, I now have an idea of what my mom went through with me. :-) Glad to know I am not the only one dealing with it!

  4. I remember being a child and hearing "if you can't play without arguing then you can clean up". It sure does resolve some arguments pretty quickly!

  5. Cathy - I am a softy, I know. :)

    Emily - Laps around the house! Yes! Our principal used to have non-participating high school boys do laps around the school. It was great!

    Kathryn - I guess tattle-taling drives every mom crazy. :D

    Mary - Your mom and me are trackin'. :P