Breaking up fights is right up there with toilet training. I hate it! It is so emotionally exhausting because I really really *try* to stay calm. It's kinda hypocritical teaching self-control when Mommy loses control herself. I confess I fail more regularly than not, but it's definitely a soft spot with me and I pray regularly for more wisdom in this area.
Well to encourage POSITIVE behavior, I told Vienna that she could color in one balloon (see pic below) if she went all day without hurting her brother. And when she colored all 5 balloons, we'd get to go see the movie Up. It took 12 days to color in 5 balloons. Progress is steady but slow! In the process, Vienna was more aware of her anger and so was I. Breaking up fights was done in a calm way. I'd remind Vienna of our movie deal and it was all just matter of fact. It was a great system for both of us. Once Vienna finished the picture and had her mind set on a new reward, I told her that our game was over. I knew that she was capable of treating her brother with kindness and that was our goal now: to have happy days. I told her how proud I was of her, etc and I couldn't believe how satisfied she was with that! We shall see what the coming days bring, but tomorrow, we'll be sitting in a theatre enjoying her reward! I am so proud of her!
(I found this free chart online here.)