• In good weather, put two angry kids on opposite sides of a strong window or glass door.  Provide each with a spray bottle of window cleaner and a rag.  Then let them “attack.”  Their angry words will turn to laughter . . . and your window will be clean!
  • Try role playing to eliminate constant fighting.  For five minutes, have the fighters switch roles.  Each has to present the other person’s point of view as clearly and fairly as possible.  Odds are, they’ll start laughing and make up.  Better yet, they may come up with a compromise solution both parties like.
  • For better discipline, speak quietly.  If you speak in a normal tone of voice, even when you’re angry, you’ll help your child see how to handle an­ger appropriately.  And if you don’t scream at your kids, they’re less likely to scream at each other . . . or at you.
  • Try a “black hole” to keep toys and other belongings picked up.  All you need is a closet or cabinet with a lock—the “black hole.”  When something is left out that should be put away, it gets put into the “black hole” for 24 hours.  Once a favorite toy or something your child needs is locked up for 24 hours, there is greater incentive to keep it where it belongs.  This works best when the whole family participates.

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