“Boy, get out of that tree!” I hollered at Nicky. “I’m not in a tree, Mama,” he hollered back. Hmmm? Are you looking at the picture above? Is Nicky in a tree, or have I completely lost my vision? And, yes, because I had been baited into arguing with my child, I took a picture to have solid evidence of his presence in that Japanese maple, just to prove that he was wrong, and I was right. FYI: Physical evidence still proved ineffective in dissuading him from his position.
I wish I could claim this as an isolated incident, but I argue on a consistent basis with my boys over ridiculous issues, like basic reality: Is he in the tree or is he not? Timeframes: theirs or mine. Words I never said (or did I?): “Mom said we could have cookies for breakfast.”
I know, in my heart of hearts, I never even mentioned cookies, much less eating them for breakfast.
My sanity is often on trial here, and, in an attempt to defend it, I go there and engage in a verbal tennis match with my seven-year-old. Not wise! The truth is, it drains my mental and emotional reserves and benefits no one. His reasons for arguing with me are generally rooted in a need for my attention or understanding.
My husband claims our children know they can get away with it with me. I think he is right, but my big fail is that I entertain and engage where I have no business. I mean, which one of us is the adult?
I often tell my older son when he is locked into sibling bickering with his younger brother, “Do not engage with a seven-year-old.” Looks like I need to take my own advice!
How do you handle arguments in your classroom or home? Please share your comments in the box below.
For more information about TURNING STONEchoice please visit www.turningstonechoice.com.