Nothing like a jog down memory lane to trigger some memories. I was talking with my mom yesterday about how the kids were bickering in the car the other day the whole way home from their mom’s house. “Well why didn’t you tell them to stop arguing?” she asked me. That is a great question mom, let me explain to you why I don’t interrupt their arguing every time.
When they were probably three and four, James and Jordan use to fight every. single. day. No joke, they would find SOMETHING to be pissed off about and just pick at each other until one of them whacks the other one. I would have to follow them around and break up arguments for what felt like, the entire day. I’m serious, by 7 o’clock at night I am literally melted into the couch from having flames shooting out of my ears with anger all day. My husband wasn’t too thrilled on their attitudes either and he would just lose his cool after the third time we would hear, “Jaaaaaaaaaaaaaammmessss!” It was exhausting having to do that and I got to a point where I said, ENOUGH!
I began to let them fight it out. Not physically, but verbally. They needed to learn how to solve problems without one of us adults being there to break it up and explain what they are doing wrong every time. At first, they would look at me as they were arguing. Then they would get a little louder, pause and look at me as if they were waiting for me to tell them to cut it out, but I didn’t. Was it nerve racking at first? Oh you bet it was, but it worked! They began figuring out ways to solve their problems all on their own! Some times it takes a few minutes, but the negotiating with each other will eventually kick in and they find a solution without having to decapitate each other.
My husband didn’t like this idea at first, but I asked him, “Aren’t you exhausted breaking up their petty fights all the time? Because I sure am!” and I would explain how this is helping their future social skills. If you ask either one of the kids now, “How do we solve problems at our house?” they will (hopefully) answer with, “We communicate with each other.” — That is something we have always said since day one with them, in hopes that it will be embedded in their brains for eternity.
They will always argue, I know that. I have two younger brothers who STILL get under my skin and they are 26 and 24 with hundreds of miles in between us, but the munchkins needed to learn a hard lesson of figuring out their own problems with each other. Those are kid problems that should be solved by kids, at least that’s my view on that. What do you think?