If your house is like mine, there are always arguments going on. Some between your children, but more often than not, most are between you and your child. And if you are like me, then you like to win those arguments.
I often wonder if I am the cause of the argument.
Sometimes I feel like I am picking the battle just to win so I can show that I can.
This makes for a more hostile house and something I desperately want to change.
I came to this realization a few weeks ago after an encounter with my eldest daughter.
The conversation went a bit like this:
Me: come here
Me: COME HERE!
Me: COME HERE!!!!!!!!!
My child finally comes into the room
Me: I want you to come the first time I call you!
Child: I could not hear you!
Me: then why did you say what? You should come to me when you heard me!
What happened next
At this point, I forgot why I wanted to talk to her and instead spent the time giving her a consequence for not obeying me when I first called and for giving me attitude when she did eventually come.
After this incident, I had time to reflect on the scene. It was not the first time this had happened and I knew that it would keep happening… Unless I changed something.
Why was it so important that she come to me?
After much reflection, I realized that I wanted her to come to me because I was lazy. My frustration did not stem from wanting her to obey. It came because I actually had to move and get up and do something about what was going on. I had been lying down in bed and I did not want to get up. My laziness factor had kicked in and I wanted her obedience to trump my unwillingness to move.
My selfishness became so evident to me. I could have avoided this whole scene had I not been so lazy.
The argument got me thinking about ways I could reduce the arguments in the house. So here are my 9 ways I can reduce arguments with my child.
Seek out my child
When I want to talk to my child, instead of calling to her over and over, I will call her once and if she can’t hear me I will get up and go find her. When I find her, I will then talk to her.
Sometimes I ask my kids to do something and they don’t actually understand what I want them to do. They do their best to obey, but I end up frustrated because the end result was not what I had originally wanted. One way to decrease misunderstanding is to make sure my child understands exactly what I want by giving clear directions.
Set the Tone
I find that if I am upset or frustrated, my children mirror that back to me. To reduce the tension in the house, I need to be the example of how I want my children to speak. If I speak politely to them in my frustration, they will learn (eventually) that they can also be frustrated but still speak without yelling.
Change the mood
When my kids are driving me crazy, it’s easy to turn around and snap at them or become frustrated with them. One way I keep from blowing up is by changing my mood. Instead of yelling, I put some music on and dance or tickle them. These things make us smile and laugh and I tend to forget why I was mad.
Ask child to repeat
When I ask my children to do something, I ask them to repeat what I said. By doing so, we both understand what is expected and it helps clarify any misunderstandings. If my child can’t repeat what I said, then they won’t be able to do what I asked. When they know what to do and what is expected, they are more likely to do it.
The fastest way for me to calm down is to pray. I pray for patience and understanding. I pray for wisdom and grace. Every moment with my children I am afraid that what comes out of my mouth will scar them for life. By taking a moment and praying, I usually keep myself from saying something I regret or using a tone I did not mean.
Let it go
I oftentimes forget that my kids are small and don’t understand the works like I do. I usually expect them to have my standards. Once I remember that they are small, I lower my standards and let some things slide.
Last week as I was cleaning the bathroom I found candy wrappers on the floor. I suspected that my eldest daughter had found some candy and eaten it without permission. She knows the rules: you can’t eat anything without asking mom first. She also knows that candy is a treat and is only eaten on special occasions.
Lately, she has been breaking a lot of rules and being sneaky. I have spent countless of hours going over proper behaviour and punishing her for disobeying. I could have easily found her, asked her a question and given her a consequence. This time, I chose to let it go. I had no real evidence that she was the one to eat the candy. This may be an unpopular opinion but, I think it’s ok for kids to get away with a thing or 2. Since I am addressing the larger issues on a regular basis, catching every act will only drive her further away.
Give them grace
One of the things that I love most about God is His grace towards us. He regularly does not give us the punishment we need. He regularly does not show His anger and frustration towards us. My task as a parent is to show my children God’s character. One of the ways to do that is to be like God and to show grace. When my children disobey, I sometimes will choose to not give them the punishment they deserve.
Pick your battles
Some fights are not worth the effort you put in. For me to win an argument with my daughter, it takes so much energy and time. Sometimes, that energy and time is not productive and would best be spent focused on other things. For example, I let my youngest choose if she wants to get dressed or stay in her pj’s. She is 4 and does not go to school. On days we stay home, there is no reason for her to get dressed. So, if she does not want to, fighting her about it does not seem to be worth the effort for me.
I am often the reason that I get into arguments with my kids. I a. Either lazy, tired or just done with the day. But if I step back for just a moment, I realize that I can sometimes diffuse the circumstances by using some of these strategies.
How do you decrease arguments with your children??
Originally posted 2017-01-23 05:43:16.
Latest posts by Anne Markey (see all)
- Marriage advice for newlyweds - June 26, 2017
- 9 reasons why parenting is so hard - June 19, 2017
- 8 Strategies to not let housework ruin your marriage - June 19, 2017