Kids argue. They just do. And it’s important we allow them to. The art of debate is an important life skill to develop because it helps us to find our voice, learn to advocate for ourselves—and when taught properly, how to listen, to hear other people and to problem solve.
However, hearing kids argue does get irritating! And it’s easy to lose patience and want it to stop. Especially when we are cooped up together for long periods of time like we were over the spring and summer. Even though some of the restrictions have been lifted we are still limited on how we can engage. Like many of us, you may still not be able to do the things you love and are continuing to spend inordinate amounts of time together.
People are likely to get a little…feisty.
My kids spent a lot of time together when they were young and yes, arguments would break out. Not surprising. When the kids weren’t able to remedy the situations themselves or with some guidance, I would often give them a project to work on together. It was always met with eye rolls and “But moms” (insert child’s voice saying, “but, Mooomm!”) In the end they would usually put on some music, talk it out, get the work done and end up laughing.
I love this article from Seattle’s Child because it takes that thinking a step further. The advice suggests we look a little deeper at why things are happening instead of just responding to what is happening. It provides tools for solutions and models active listening and empowerment.
I think the advice is solid and if followed will help build better conflict resolution skills. So many of us can be uncomfortable with conflict, including me. But really, healthy conflict is a good thing as long as we respectfully engage. Hopefully this article will be a useful and lead us toward more patient, compassionate and active listening and problem solving.