27/10/2015 04:46 GMT | Updated 26/10/2016 06:12 BST

The Stress-Free Way to Discipline Your Kids!

This morning I woke up well and truly sick of constantly thinking up punishments for my kids when they misbehave. The more that I thought about it, the more I realized that the naughty acts are generally towards each other. 'Mum, he hit me!' 'Mum, he took my toy!' 'Mum, he drew on my picture!' So, I thought to myself, instead of having the stress of punishing them myself, I will let them punish each other... siblings disciplining siblings!

I made each of them write a list of things that they would like to punish the others with if they behaved badly towards them. They all jumped at the chance and came up with a list (with a little guidance from Mum!) that, instead of being an outright punishment, encouraged acts of kindness and ways to bond with each other. Here are the lists they wrote.

Five year old

1. Buy me a chocolate bar.

2. Play a game of my choice.

3. Tidy my room.

4. Get me a snack.

5. Do my reading homework with me.

6. Let me play on your kindle.

Seven year old

1. Buy me some sweets.

2. Get me a lolly from the freezer and open it.

3. Let me play with your toys.

4. Get me water at bed time.

5. Do my reading homework with me.

6. Get my shoes for me..

Eight year old

1. Buy me a chocolate bar.

2. Play minecraft with me.

3. Do one of my chores.

4. Sing 'twinkle twinkle' and do a humiliating dance.

5. Make me something.

6. Put my clean clothes away.

As you can see they all started off materialistically with the chocolate bars and sweets! (Perfect parents need not comment on how unhealthy this is. We are a normal family who do let our kids have sweets from time to time and I'm not sorry!) However as they put more thought into it they came up with things that were more meaningful. My favourites are 'doing my reading homework with me', 'playing minecraft with me' and 'playing a game of my choice.' I love the fact that they want to spend time doing this together.

What stands out to me most though is that not one of them chose to write the obvious punishment of 'Go to your room'. This is a favourite of mine and many parents as it means a little while of peace whilst they supposedly think about what they have done. But I have to ask myself how effective this really is. Do they really learn their lesson? Is it really that much of a hardship sitting alone in your room surrounded by your creature comforts?

My boys were able to put their punishments into action very quickly as by 10am my eight year old had practiced his karate on his five year old brother at the top of the stairs, my seven and five year old had whacked each other so many times they couldn't remember who started it and my seven year old had made his two year old brother cry as he thought it would be fun to give his teddy to the dog! I then allowed them to issue a punishment to the person who committed the misdemeanour and then played mediator to make sure they were followed through. There was no shouting and no stress. Everyone went along with it which is how I now have four boys getting along like best of friends whilst I cook a roast dinner and type my blog.

I am not naive enough to think that it will go this smoothly every time but for now I am going to enjoy the fact that my kids are teaching each other how to be good people and they don't even know it...

Right now I have harmony in my household and I am going to enjoy it whilst it lasts!

You can read more from Kerry at her blog My Boys And Me. You can also like her Facebook page and follow her on Twitter and Instagram.