Siblings fight — it’s just part of life. An annoying part, granted, especially if you’re the parent. So what’s a Supermom to do? I must admit that I’ve resorted to one of my own parents’ favorite techniques, and it actually works quite well. We call it the “Forced Hug,” but my parents called it “Loving Sisters” — take your pick of the names or make up your own.
Here’s what you do: instruct the fighting siblings to hug and set the timer for one minute (or longer if needed). Tell the kids that they must hug each other nicely (no pinching, biting, etc.) until the timer goes off. If anyone misbehaves or lets go of the hug, the timer starts over.
Although both kids will be fuming for about the first 20 seconds, eventually they forget what they were fighting about — there is just something about hugging that makes it hard to stay mad at one another. Usually the kids are both laughing before the timer goes off. Then when they go back to playing, just the threat of another “Forced Hug” is enough to squelch any tussles for a while.