The girls have been at one another all week. Arguments include subjects such as you have more time with mom than I do, I was standing on this side first, you're a meany, make me, I like the green bowl better, that's my favorite chair to sit in during dinner and other various exciting and highly meaningful conversations. Though the one about time with me is important. Just no need to argue about the comparison of time with them when it's spent so differently with each girl.
I tried a variety of wonderful parenting tricks. None of them seemed to work. Last night I sat them down and we talked about expectations for today. Riley is still recovering from her nasty sickness that just keeps hanging on. She's not getting enough rest as she's up coughing constantly and isn't hungry. No sleep + no food = grouchy girl.
So we had a conversation about her choices.
Me: So I can see Julia is irritating you.
Riley: (grumpily) Yea
Me: Let's think through some options you have when you feel really mad at her. Options other than giving mean looks, hitting her, things like that.
Riley: (rolling eyes) Okay
Me: Can you think of something that would be a good choice to do when you feel this way?
Riley: Not really
Me: Do you have any ideas of what you could do?
Riley: No, but I'm sure you're going to tell me what I can do.
Instant laughter ensued as I did have a few ideas to share. We laughed together about how she knew I had things to say. She then talked about how she's so smart to think of that. We laughed a lot.