March 9, 2010

The Sleepover Party


With three kids born so close together, one of my concerns has always been about developing individual relationships. It's important for my kids to do things in pairs, as well as in groups.

Today, Camber and Cortlen fought so much with each other that they earned their own private sleepover party.

"No fair!" yelled Kellen, crossing his arms.

The odd man out felt better when I assured him that there would be no popcorn or soda at this get together.

"You two are sleeping down here tonight," I told Camber and Cortlen at bedtime, tossing their blankets and pillows on the family room floor. "Together."

The screams of torture could be heard in Antarctica.

"Watch it," I warned, "Or next you'll be sharing a room."

This was one party that I didn't have to supervise. The muffled screams of indignation assured me that the event was a big success.

"MOM! TELL HIM/HER TO STOP LOOKING AT/KICKING/PINCHING/THREATENING TO PINCH/HITTING/SNIFFING/FLICKING/GROWLING AT ME!"

The incessant pleas for intervention lasted (and when unanswered) for almost two hours, during which time I remained cautiously optimistic that I would not lose my temper.

It has been quiet now for 15 minutes.

I'm not sure who feels more punished--my kids or me.

37 comments

Cathryn said...

I wondered what all that racket was, I heard them!!---In Washington state!

Gwenevere said...

I'm not sure I understand the theory behind the punishment....they are fighting so you put the in same room to sleep so.....one of them will kill the other?
:)

Bo and Nell said...

I have three girls! I think I will try this sometime!

Mal said...

When we fought, my mum just took us outside, faced us towards one another, and then said, "Okay! Go at it! One of you throw a punch!" Don't ask me why, but it worked every time.

Kira said...

HAHAHA! Love it!

A Few Tacos Shy... said...

My mom would stick us in the bathroom until we could be nice to each other. The bathroom, as it turns out, is uncomfortable and pretty boring. Although, now that I think about it, I am sure my 6 and 7 year old boys would think of many devious ways to punish me for putting them in there...

On second thought, the family room has many less cloggable holes so it makes way more sense...

Audrey said...

Hilarious! I was put in the bathroom with my brother! We always showed my mom by being best friends when we came out! until next time that is ;)

Molly said...

ha ha!

grammaDawn said...

I'm one of 6 girls, then we had a little brother, so there were many of these kinds of days. My mom would make us sit on the couch with our arms around one another singing, 'There is Beauty All Around', until we were laughing. Then before we could get up we had to kiss and make up.

thetallgrl said...

I nannied for a family of 5 children. The mother was my hero. She would do as you threatened: make the warring individuals share a bedroom. THAT was entertaining.

[Stacia] said...

Great idea! I love it.

Rachel said...

My mom would send both fighting kids outside to walk around the block: one going one way, one another. By the time the two met up in the middle, they had a common enemy: my mother. This was all part of her plot, however, as the two previously fighting children were now allies in an unfair world.

Kathy Sprinkle said...

Blast, I only have one kid... your punishment is great fun. I'd love to try it!

Jen said...

My dad had this same idea when I was growing up. After my sister, Katy, and I left Becca out and slammed our door in her face for the thousandth time, he moved her into our room. Problem solved. :)

mommyoffaith19 said...

Love this idea!

Tracy said...

When we moved my 12 y.o. son into his own bedroom in the basement, I told him there was to be NO FOOD down there because of my concern about bugs and critters. Last week I discovered a drawer-full of popcans and poptart wrappers in his room. This week he's sleeping on the floor in his brothers' room. But every night when I have to listen to the moaning, stomping and complaining, I wonder if I'll make it the whole week.

Susan said...

I have a friend with 11 children. When two are fighting she ties them together at the waist and makes them do a big chore like washing the car. She has also made them share a room. Works every time.

My Mercurial Nature said...

If only this wasn't a short-lived punishment!

annie said...

Believe me, you are always the one being punished! When my husband grounds the kids for anything, I get upset, because I am being punished!

Christi said...

My husband sometimes ties the fighting children together at the ankle and the wrist. The theory is that they'll have to figure out how to work together or they won't be able to do anything. I was skeptical at first, but it turned out to be a good idea. They always end up laughing and playing!

Emmy said...

My mom used to make us sit on chairs across from each other until we made up.. and well it worked, as we usually would start working together to see how we could reach each other while still staying on the chairs :)

Margaret said...

That is a really great idea! I never would have thought to make them do that.

Deanna said...

Hoooo boy, I feel your pain, sister!!

My boys took to slamming their bedroom door whenthey were mad at me so I took the door away for 1 week. Not sure - but I think it was harder on us than on them!!

Kelli said...

I'm gonna file this in my 'things I'm definitely gonna try' file. My kids will thank you! ;)

Anonymous said...

my mom used to make us offenders sit on the couch and we were not allowed to leave until we said we were sorry and allowed the other to get off the couch. Once ended up staying on the couch for 5 hours because my sister was to mad to let me go... yet she couldn't leave either cause I was mad too. LOL

Angie said...

I love it! What a great idea. Did they end up having a bonding moment in the end?

I love all the great ideas I got from all the comments, too.

Tanya said...

so many fun ideas! LOL
My mom made us hug and look into each other's faces while being told that as we grew up it would be our family who was there for us. I have many memories of my brother smashing his chin into my sturnum and me doing the same thing to the top of his head......but somehow we would end up laughing too.
Kids are weird. :)

vanilla said...

When Dad, or Mom, told me, "This will hurt me more than it does you," I didn't believe it. Until I had kids of my own.

Love the tale. Peace. Sleep well.

The crazy Shaw Family said...

We had our then 5yo girl and 3yo boy who were at constant war to "have it out!" They stood eye to eye, and when daddy gave the signal, they were to pummel each other until they were done! (Sounds way more barbaric then it was) After about 20 minutes of smacking and kicking at each other, it dissolved into a tickle fest, and they were laughing so hard they could hardly stand up. I asked them if they were done, they both giggled and fell on the floor in a heap. They are now 9 and 7, and haven't had any fist fights since! They don't always like each other, but they do not lay hands on each other any more.

Amber said...

Nice. My mom always made my sister and I hold hands when we started arguing! It was PURE torture - we would put a throw pillow over our hands in an effort to block the humiliation.

Crystal said...

Its funny how parents think alike :-) My mom would move the coffee table and tell my sister and I that if we were going to fight we had to do it where she could watch...we thought she was crazy and never ended up fighting.
When I used to babysit, the boy and girl I babysat for would fight all the time and I got fed up one day and sat them on opposite sides of the room. Everytime they would argue I would make them move closer to each other until they were eventually holding hands...they didn't like that much so they usually stopped being bad when I threatened that punishment LOL

edith said...

My kids already share rooms, so I can't use this technique. Too bad.

Stephanie @ Figments said...

That is great! I sooo have to try that with my girls.

pajamadays said...

Very cute! I've always loved Dr. Dobson's punishment on tattling, this reminded me of that. When one child would tattle, both children would get in trouble.

Janille said...

Classic.

Lot of great ideas from creative parents here. Sweet.

Brooke said...

THIS POST (and the comments) are exactly what I needed today. My friend found your blog for me today after I posted on facebook that my 12 year old son sent me a text telling me that I was the worst mom ever. After I yelled at him for hurting his 6 year old sister for the millionth time! I think I'll be using some of these ideas!!! THANK YOU!

dancilhoney said...

My daughter had some friends over last weekend for a sleepover. I was clueless what to do for sleepover games. Any ideas? I already have the Sleepover Party Supplies.