keeping busy to not fight

The sisters are growing apart in interests. The cyclicality of age difference is taking its toll. J is growing out of the childish games though she joyfully reverts to imaginative baby games for short times.

I hear them quarrel a lot mainly because Ivy asks Jackie to play a certain game, and Jackie says she doesn’t want to. Then I have reality check talks with Ivy about the free agent and respecting other people’s decisions to play or not to play. One is more willing to play if they don’t feel obligated to do so.

Still, tension arises and books are dropped for noise effect, or they push and pull buttons and toys.

Yesterday I heard them both complain in their room. Their laundry just finished drying so I went up, opened the door and said: “come with me!” Jackie asked: “are you mad at us? are we in trouble?” They still followed. As we arrived to the laundry room I pulled their clothes on the carpet and told them to fold their own laundry. They usually groan. To which I say: “Somebody needs to do it. I have been doing it for years. Folding your own laundry is not a punishment. Is learning to become responsible.”

This time they didn’t even moan. They started doing it. And they did it efficiently.

Just like that they forgot what they were fighting about and worked together to sort the clothes, and each folded their own. This time I say it’s a win for the parents and for the kids.