Help! It’s the school run…

Posted by Samantha on January 19, 2012 in Thought for the day |

When I pick my two kids up from school it’s fair to say that they’re not always at their best!

One is an introvert.  He really needs some quiet time for introspection and re-charging after spending all day in such close proximity to so many people.  The other is an extravert.  She is just dying to connect with her brother and gabble away.

The upshot of all this is that her efforts to connect irritate him and he pushes her away emotionally and sometimes physically, then she gets cross with him as well, pushes back and we’re off.  Cue practically daily, picky squabbling in the car on the way home.  Eventually, we skipped straight to the point where they were both irritated with each other straight away.

I find this interaction tough.  It’s not pleasant to sit in and tends to make the seven-minute drive home seem WAY longer.  And my heart breaks to watch my two kids fight and hurt each other – not physical blows but psychological ones.  I’ve really tried to solve this one.  And we’ve made some progress.  But it’s still not how I’d script it!

Yesterday, after two years of my children picking on each other in this very low grade, irritating sort of way, I had a brainwave.  It was one of those ideas that was so simple and obvious once I’d thought of it that I couldn’t believe it had never occurred to me before.

I put one of the car seats in the front beside me and told them from now on we’d rotate on a weekly basis.  Obviously, they’d an instant disagreement about who would go in the front first.  But they’re well practiced at that kind of negotiation so they reached an agreement between themselves from the school gate to the car door.

Yesterday, they still bickered a little from front to back seat but they couldn’t touch each other!  I predict this bickering will quickly reduce and hopefully disappear because it was clear that they get the idea and they love it.

Not only do they see the opportunity for physical separation (much of the squabbling centred on getting out of each other’s space, especially her out of his), but they also recognise the added bonus: the rotating privileges of either the back seat all to yourself, or sitting in the front.

It’s a win, win scenario.  I feel like Supermom, Superwoman and Supernanny all rolled into one!

How I never thought of it before now I cannot fathom.  I’m just going to be grateful that I finally got there.

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