Making Peace

MakePeaceSiblingRivalryForcedHuggingPunishment

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.

Bettijo

Bettijo

Founder at Paging Supermom
Bettijo is the founder and designer of Paging Supermom where she shares what she's dreamed up for family fun. Known for practical and kid-friendly activities, free printables and simple ideas for holidays. She is a single mom of three girls and one boy. Bettijo was a guest on the Martha Stewart Show and has frequently appeared on local television. Her work has also been featured in national magazines including Real Simple, O, Redbook, Parents, Family Circle, and Health. During quieter moments, she enjoys art, retro-modern design, photography and making new things. Bettijo lives with her four kiddos in Phoenix, Arizona.

9 thoughts on “Making Peace”

  1. I TOTALLY forgot about “Loving Sisters”!!!!! I wonder how it will work with a boy and girl??? They try to kill each other with hugs already…

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  2. My brother and I had to sit on the couch and hold hands for one minute. It worked! I remember fearing having to hold hands with that little joker if we fought. But, it usually ended in laughs.

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  3. My best friend was made to do this as a behavioral attitude adjustment tool by her mom and my best friend felt that it was a violation of her personal space and an exploitation what is supposed to be a positive experience. It was confusing to her that she was forced to hug when she felt angry and not particularly loving.

    As an adult, she doesn’t like touching others or hugging people when greeting them and she’s very protective of personal space and boundaries.

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