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<< . Divide and conquer.
Use bright-yellow-and-black caution tape ($7 from www.duct-tape.com) to
divide their play space, and tell them they can't cross to the other one's
side of
the room. Make believe you're arriving at the scene of a crime and the
should help them forget what they were fighting about. >>

A sales plug for another business!
(The original was Parenting Magazine being plugged by AOL.)

Crime scene tape might be fun, once. But it's not a crime to try to solve a
problem the best way a kid knows how to do it. And it's still a kind of
time-out and "go to your room." Odds are the kids won't share a room, so the
crime scene tape would divide the house or tape them in.

If something can be done with humor, it will probably help.

I used to say Biblically-ish that I would SMITE Marty for Holly. She would
say "Marty won't let me play."

"Should I smite him?"


"MARTY, I am coming to smite thee." And I would sometimes walk like a giant,
or at least come dramatically to suggest that maybe he should let Holly play
with him, if not then maybe later. And he would. And I didn't smite them,
but we joked about smiting. "Who should I smite?" And they would see that
smiting wasn't going to be the answer. But it was an opening for what, if not
smiting, was a good thing for me to do?

I think a good way to separate kids is to get one to do something real and
useful, either with you or off alone while you talk to the remaining one. Feed
the cats or check the mailbox are good ones. They only take a minute, and
that's long enough to cool off.


Lee Roversi

The 'smite' discussion that Sandra used an an example of alternatives to
the inane AOL parenting suggestions reminded me of something that I used to
do and even still pull out occasionally . . .

When things got heated around here, I would take the 'offender' in my arms
and remark that perhaps their behavior was less than kind and they probably
needed a licking . . . at which point I would start to lick them all over,
especially in ticklish spots . . . giggling and a quick return to
'acceptable' behavior ensued usually. . .particularly effective as, living
in Hawaii, my kids had on none or few clothes!

Happy parenting in ways that work,
~an eco-tourism destination~
P.O. Box 723
Kilauea, Kauai, Hawaii 96754
808-828-1513phone & voice mail