And something must be done about it.
I didn't have any brothers growing up, so sometimes it's hard for me to determine what is appropriate for boys and what needs to be curbed. I laughed out loud the other day when I heard a radio talk show host admit that, as a man who raised only girls, he never understood why other parents could not control their unruly boys. Now his daughters have sons, and his grandsons are a rambunctious lot, and now he understands. I can totally relate.
Nevertheless, things are a little out of control. The wrestling games often end with someone losing an eye (or you'd think so, from the screams they beget.) The volume on their voices is permanently at 11. The arguing goes in circles.
And so, for Family Home Evening this week, I took the reins again. We talked about contention, the kinds of behaviour that breed contention, and the atmosphere it emits. Then we talked about peace and its associated behaviours and atmospheres. The boys were surprisingly adept at identifying the differences. Then I stated that we were going to start instituting 20 minutes of "calm time" a day. This will involved all family members who are home at the time (which is my way of making sure I do 20 minutes of calm also, instead of prepping dinner or folding laundry.) We came up with five activities so far: yoga, silent reading, listening to mommy read, listening to classical music, or lying down and speaking "I am thankful for..." statements. I'm going to make a fun spinning wheel to help us choose each day. Participation is mandatory.
I'm really hoping this will help settle an atmosphere of peace on our home a little more. Right now I call 4pm - 5pm the "witching hour" because everyone seems to go really nutty at that time. My goal for this hour is:
1) to have the dinner already prepped and ready to start cooking
2) to have the main floor tidied
3) to let the boys have their 20 minutes of TV they get per day while I...
4) get a sweet + healthy snack (ie: homemade cookies and apple slices) ready
5) eat the snack at the table while we talk about their day
6) have our 20 minutes of calm time
My hope is that this routine will take up almost that full hour, leaving us more rested and peaceful while I make dinner and the boys play.
(Of course, the very next day I fell really ill with a stomach bug, and am still recovering today, so this probably won't start until next week. I'll update on how it goes then.)