So as a mom of 5, the idea of listening to my kids fight for 18 years was so unpalatable that I came up with a few things to help us shift from my focusing on them not fighting to how do I actually teach them to get along. And that's really where the conversation drops. There really isn't a lot out there as far as how to help kids to get them to learn to cooperate as the family unit.
So we came up with a few things. The first was we created a big appreciation board, and we put it right in the middle of our kitchen. And every day, we write down all of the things that we appreciated about each other throughout the day. So imagine a kid is feeling a little bit snarky, and maybe they're looking around, looking for somebody to pick on, and they walk by that appreciation board, and they see their name written up there 5 times, I appreciate Hannah for. You start to feel pretty good about yourself.
And the side benefit is, it's really hard to fight with people who keep writing nice things about you on this board.
The second thing was we started to show appreciation when the kids chose to get along, because it really is a choice you make to cooperate with someone else. So when we saw our kids playing together nicely or one walking away from a potential fight or compromising, we said, we noticed that you walked away. We noticed that you compromised. We noticed that you let your brother go first. And as a result, you guys had a lovely time and there was no fighting. The third thing was that we started to teach our kids about how to solve problems. How do I identify the problems and solve problems. Because outside of our home they needed to know how to work things out with other people. And the best way to start is with your siblings.
And the last thing we did, and this I know for sure is, kids who are bored, fight. So we kept our kids very busy. Not with outside activities but with jobs inside of the house, so they felt like contributing members of the family.