Thursday, January 15, 2015

Kids Argue and Parents Ears Bleed

“A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”  Proverbs 15:01

It’s very hard to blog about something that you haven’t completely figured out or fixed yet.  It’s hard to say “Do this and it will fix everything” when “I already done tried this and it didn’t fix nothing.”  Oh well.  I'll open my big mouth anyway.

My top two least favorite parenting issues that I must swim through are figuring out who’s lying to me and listening to siblings argue all day.  When I say swim through, I don’t mean swim through some blue lagoon in an Italian grotto.  I mean swim through QUICKSAND.  I don’t post about my family’s faults because it’s rude so you probably all think my children are perfect angels.  They are not.  Sometimes they do argue.  I have two very strong, opinionated leaders and two “I would just like to go crazy right now, if you please” non-followers.  It gets crazy-bananas in my house most days.  I repeat the above verse a lot.  I have been none to harshly yell it across the house which is ironic, right?  They have it memorized.  I repeat it to myself a lot to because there is something about listening to arguing all day that makes me want to say harsh words.  Here’s my top three things to do if you want your kids to argue all day and what the opposite of that looks like. 

1       Argue With Your Husband In Front of Your Kids
The perfect model of conflict antiresolution, nonresolution, or deresolution is to pick a fight with your husband and call him names like idiot, your mother smells of elderberries, stupidface, or the like.  Say nice words to him.  Don’t pick the poor guy a part.
      Let Them Work It Out On Their Own
Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahah…Sorry…that’s just really funny because THAT NEVER WORKS.  Remember that whole thing in Proverb 29:17 that says “Correct your son, and he will give you rest: Yes, he will give delight to your soul.”  Parents.  Dudes.  How are they going to learn to solve conflict without a conflict counsellor.  They need you.  It’s way more important then the organic, BPA free dinner that you are preparing right now.  The conflict resolution that you teach them today is going to be hugely appreciated by their future spouses and bosses.  Get in there, counsellor!  You don’t throw your dinner ingredients on the counter and say, “See you later, ingredients!  You’re chopping and cooking yourselves tonight.”  That’s just crazy-bananas. 

3 Find Guilt in Only One Member of the Ongoing Argument
An argument is an argument.  They are both wrong.  Nobody is choosing to be the peacemaker, therefore they are both wrong.  They both need an appropriate consequence and one or both of them needs to compromise.  It has to do with the heart.  And use stick figure drawings to illustrate your point!  My beautiful, award-winning stick figure drawings have blown some minds over here!  It is so obvious when one of my children is purposefully being kind and loving.  Make a big deal when you see them make that choice.  Alert the marching band!  Start the fanfare!  Draw attention to the peacemaker! 

Example time!  I love this part.  It’s like a fable only you use people and not freaky animals eating each other.

Fred and Stanley are arguing over one teeny tiny Lego guy.  You are busy cooking your organic, BPA free dinner and hear the argument grow louder and louder which will result in a fist fight at any moment. 
A.     Ignore it.  Whatever.  Yell, “Spankings will happen if you punch each other.”
B.     Wonder what BPA is
C.     Call them over and give a brief and encouraging reminder that their heart needs to love which then causes their hands to share and their words to speak peace. 

Which did you pick?  I admit I pick A waaaaaaaaaaay to often.  I never pick B because who cares but when I pick C, good things usually happen. 

This is a 20 year process for most of us.  You’re not going anywhere for a while so settle in and get used to the Rinse and Repeat that parenting is made of. 

The kids are waking up now and I need another cup of coffee and maybe one more Proverb to face the day…I am cultivating peacemakers and that’s mighty thirsty work.

Seriously, right now share something in the comments on how God has blessed you with wisdom as far as teaching your kids to be peacemakers.  I could always use some more wisdom in this area.  Wisdom equals sanity.  Parents could always use a little more sanity. Spill the beans for me because you can't stand to see me without sanity.  Love you guys!