Debbie Lee, MA, MFT
"How to Get Along" Chart
Hi All, this is my first blog post!
I wanted to share the "How to Get Along" chart I created for my two kids as one of the ways to help us survive this crazy period of being stuck at home together for days on end due to the coronavirus. My kids are 6 years old and almost 4 years old with very different personalities so the opportunity for conflict to arise is constant. Generally they are best friends and play really well together but with so much time together at home without a lot of space and freedom to escape each other, they've definitely been fighting more than usual.
So I decided to make a "How to Get Along Chart" and here's how to do it.
First, introduce the idea of a "How to Get Along Chart" or whatever you want to call it and let them know why you are making it together. I told my children that because we were going to be home together for a long time (we had already talked about what is coronavirus, why do we need to stay home, etc.) that I thought it would be good idea to make a chart so we can all work together and get along better.
Second, let your kids come up with suggestions on ways to get along. If they have trouble, ask them what rules they have at school and see if any of those apply. You can also add a few of your own suggestions. My 6 year old mostly came up with the ideas but majority of them were phrases that we use in our home that I've probably said at least 1,000 times.
Next, write the ones you all agree to on a piece of paper and let your children decorate it or add anything they want to add their own personal touch. My oldest drew pictures next to the words so we would all know what each line said.
Lastly, put it up where everyone can see it easily and refer to it when needed.
Has the chart helped my kids get along better? Generally, yes! They still have conflict and fight over toys and space but now they can clearly state when one of them is not following the get along chart and it holds them accountable. We can refer back to it again and again as conflicts arise and review what's on the chart. Also now it's not just me saying the same thing over and over. It the chart and we all agreed to it.
Good luck with your own "How to Get Along" chart and I hope it helps your family work together and get along better during this very strange time.
And, PS, this chart works with adults too. :)