When the kids are being difficult, not listening, giving you a hard time… instead of yelling, getting frustrated or feel like you’re talking to the wall – try singing what you want to tell them instead.
To explain what I mean, here’s what happened in my home:

For a while now, two of my kids have been fighting every morning over who gets milk poured into their cereal first.  Whichever one gets first yells out “I got first” and the other one starts crying and sometimes even refuses to eat her breakfast (and then of course it gets soggy and is completely wasted…) As you can imagine, it is a very frustrating way to start off the day. 

At first when this happened I told my kids that it doesn’t matter who gets first and I tried a little chant.  I would say “It doesn’ttttt….” and they would have to yell out “matter”.  But that didn’t work.  So a few days ago, after feeling so burnt out and frustrated I started singing. 

And here’s how my song goes (to the tune of “She’ll be comin round the mountain when she comes”)

Oh it doesn’t really matter who gets first

Oh it doesn’t really matter who gets first

Oh it doesn’t really matter

It doesn’t really matter

It doesn’t really matter who gets first.

The truth is that they still fight and get upset over who gets first.

BUT, at least now I don’t get all worked up about it. When I start feeling my blood pressure rising, I just start singing the song and it keeps me sane.

So, if your kids are fighting about something or you’re trying to get a certain message across – SING!  Even if they don’t get the message, it’ll keep you in a good mood which ultimately is the best thing you can give them anyway!

A few weeks ago, I went to a laughter workshop.  The presenter taught us all sorts of exercises to get us to laugh.  A few days later I was attempting to serve my kids dinner. But they were all crying!  I couldn’t get them to stop crying and I simply didn’t know what to do.  And then I thought of the laughter workshop I had gone to a few nights earlier. So I decided to laugh.  While they were busy crying, I just laughed.  And one by one, they each stopped crying and just stared at me.  (“Uh oh, this time Ema has really lost it” is what I think they were all thinking.)  And then I started doing one of the laughter exercises I had learned.

It’s called The Laughing Tree.

You crouch down on the floor and pretend to be a little sapling.  And you let out a little giggle. And then very slowly, you start straightening your body and spreading out your hands. As you do this, your laughter gets louder.  You keep straightening out until you are standing fully upright with your hands up in the air like branches on a tree. And as you straighten out completely you let out a huge loud laugh.

Well, I started doing this in front of my kids (who were slowly wiping away their tears) and then next thing I know, my 5 year old jumps down from her seat and starts doing it with me. And then my 2 year old joined in.  And pretty soon the mood had completely changed and we were all laughing as we pretended to be laughing trees. Now when my 2 year old wants to do this exercise, she goes around saying “laughing tee, laughing tee.”
So when the kids are crying and you just don’t know what to do, instead of throwing your hands up in despair, throw your hands up and LAUGH!

To learn more about Laughter Workshops by Yehudit Kotler, visit her website at www.yehuditkotler.com