I no longer stop my kids from fighting!
I have two children, Skinny who is 12 and Shorty who is 7. And they most definitely have a love hate relationship with each other. There are days when they get along like a house on fire, sharing things, entertaining each other and generally being model children. But those other days …… those other days I would quite happily disown my own children, especially Shorty, she has one heck of a temper on her!
You know the days I am talking about right? The ones where they wake up fighting, one of them can’t look at the other one without causing great offence, and neither of them back down? Yeah, those days suck. Fortunately they know when we are out of the house they need to be using their best manners so these fights are always conducted at home, at least that spares me the embarrassment of them yelling at each other in front of an audience.
On these hellish days I used to wade into the arguments and try to broker a deal between the two of them so they could at least be in the same room without trying to kill each other. But the problem is that they both felt like I was blaming them for the fighting AND they were having none of that. It did not take them much to get annoyed with me and all of the anger they were previously directing at each other came my way, which I assure you was not the outcome I was aiming for.
So one day I just stopped intervening. I shut the door to my room (just so the fighting was somewhat muted) and let them duke it out until they exhausted themselves. Yes I did feel sorry for our next door neighbours who would have most certainly had to listen to my children fight. Luckily we live in the country so our neighbours are not right next to us, but they would have heard them none the less! And yes they did fight for AGES.
But, they did not yell at me. Oh course they did try to dob on each other, but I simply told them I was not interested in speaking with them until they had calmed down and stopped fighting. After they realised I was not going to “sort it out” for them they left me in (relative) peace and quiet. Another strategy I have adopted when they start to fight is I will start doing the vacuuming! My old Dyson is loud enough to effectively drown out the noise AND I get clean floors ……. It is a win, situation!
And I have actually come to realise that letting my kids fight is a good thing, even if it is super annoying to listen to. Conflict is a normal part of growing up as well as being an adult and their fighting now is actually teaching them valuable lessons on conflict resolution, standing up for themselves, listening skills (they still need a LOT more work on this one trust me) and even how to occasionally apologise to each other. Naturally, if they start getting physical (again, Shorty is notorious for this) then I will certainly step in and take control of the situation but if they are just arguing, I find my zen and head to the broom cupboard!
Ali says: I am a lifestyle family and wedding photographer.
Hood: Riddells Creek
Motherhood in 5 words: Amazing, full on, hard work.
Fav family-friendly place: We love visiting Melbourne Zoo.
Coffee order: Large weak latte, no sugar.
Biz: Smith + Archer
Lifestyle family and wedding photography
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