My mother was an angel.
No lie. The woman had a near-endless supply of patience and I swear she almost never raised her voice at my sisters and me. She was just the kind of mother I would like to be, but struggle to become. It’s not like my sisters and I never misbehaved or that she was never frustrated with us, it’s just that she didn’t need to (or choose to) yell in order to keep us in line. But as patient as she was, there was one thing that was guaranteed to make my mom lose her cool – bickering.
I did what any other self-respecting parent would do. I turned to google.
As a kid, I remember feeling put out when she’d step in to stop us from fighting with each other. I mean, it was between us…it didn’t involve her at all. Now as a mother myself, I totally get it. Nothing – and I mean nothing – gets under my skin like my children bickering with each other. And now, because that’s the way karma works, yo, my kids sass me back with words like this when I tell them to knock it off:
“Why do you even care, mom? This doesn’t involve you!”
“Leave us alone! It’s none of your business anyway!”
So, I think we can all agree that some things never change and that really sucks, right? Well, after a totally crazy session of bickering that ended with one kid screaming at the top of her lungs and then hiding under a blanket, I did what any other self-respecting parent would do.
I turned to google.
It turns out that I’m not alone in this bickering-hating thing. In fact, losing your
shit marbles is a pretty universal reaction to bickering by parents everywhere, and there’s no shortage of websites with free advice on how to become the ubermom who never has only one nerve left (and never lets anyone get on it if she does). At the end of the day, all my reading didn’t tell me anything I didn’t already know about resolving conflict (or wasn’t already lecturing my kids about). Top 3 tips to build harmony at home (oldies but goodies).
- Take a deep breath and count to ten.
- Don’t get involved unless you have to.
- Yelling makes everything worse. Always. Yes…always.
So…in order to become more like the mother I’d like to be, instead of the mother I usually am, it looks like it’s time to get back to the basics.
But what about you guys? Is there some magic way of making it stop that I haven’t stumbled upon? If there is, you’d better let me know…