You WHAT?!!! Yes, I know. Some of you are already in an uproar and that’s perfectly fine. But if you hang with me for a few moments, I will prove to you why sometimes, letting your children figure things out on their own is the BEST thing you, as a parent, will ever do. Now, let’s go back in time. The year 2008.
Her: Mom!! He hit me.
Me: Stop hitting your sister.
Him: well, she threw her bra at me; that’s like an act of war.
Me: don’t throw your bra at your brother.
Her: well, he said girls suck.
Him: well, it’s true.
Her: is NOT!
Him: is TOO!
Me: STOP it both of you!!
Them: geez, Mom. You’re really cranky.
Did you catch that? I was the CRANKY one even though this had been going on for 30 minutes!! THIRTY MINUTES! I thought for sure that resolving my children’s issues was what I was supposed to do. Instead, I was labeled as cranky and then the two of them had the audacity to start laughing and carrying on as though the last 30 minutes never even took place! That year I learned a valuable lesson: just like with adults, conflict resolution is a natural part of life and if we as parents are too quick to try to handle problems for our children, we stunt their ability to resolve situations on their own. Plus, they’re not really looking for our help. Fast forward to April 2011.
Him: hiiiiiiyaaaaaahhhhh!! *loud thud, followed by a scream* My son has run across the room, jumped onto my daughter and now has her pinned on the dining room floor.
Her: Mommeeeee. *giggles and belly laughs* Tell him to get off of me! Owww. *more giggles* He’s hurting me.
Him: take back you what you said!
Him: take it back!
Her: stopppp! Get off me!
For 10 minutes I listened to my screaming daughter and stubborn son go back and forth with their taunts and cries for Mommy to intervene. This was my chance to put into practice the lesson, I’d learned about 3 years ago. I narrowed my eyes, glaring at my teens. I took off my earrings, rolled up my sleeves and stomped into the dining room.
Him: say you’re sorry. *giggles*
Her: get off me!! Mommeeeee. *giggles*
Clearly there was only one thing left to do: I dropped to my knees and banged my hand on the floor. One! I shouted. Two! I shouted. Three. I shouted. We have a new WWF Champion, ladies and gentleman. I grabbed my son’s arm and declared him the victor; then I left the room. To say they were stunned would be an understatement but it proved to be the best laugh, I’d had all day!
So, there you have it. I let them duke it out and got a much needed laugh in the process! Two teens. One lesson. Not bad Mommy. Not bad at all!
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