Parenting from Outside the Battle

It may be a matter of great, incisive parenting or it may be just laziness, but I have decided, at least for a couple of days, to let my three kids just “work it out.”  I listen to them fight, one of them screaming, as I take a quick shower.  I can yell, always at the oldest one, as I am sure he is either the cause or he is the only one who can tell me what is happening.  But I don’t.  For a couple days, days in which there was a school holiday and an institute day, so they were stuck with each other non stop, I just kept quiet.

I had this great idea when I was in the shower and I was thinkign about what I remember from my own childhood, growing up with 5 older siblings.  I don’t remeber my Mom being there every time we had an argument, and be the gate keeper of all wisdom.  I don’t remember her getting involved at all.  I just remember us, my brothers mostly, and myself, and being together virtually all the time.  We would argue, and there was a difference in strength and maturity between us, but we always managed to work things out fine on our own.  And today, at 45 years old, with my brothers 48 and 51, we are all still friends.

My big brother called the other night just to catch up, we live all of a suburb apart, and at the end of a phone call filled with common gripes, observations, and old laughs, he said “It was good to hear your voice.”  This is a man I know has my back, and will forever.  He knows me, and he loves me in spite of it.

I want this for my kids, and I tell them that.  Friends, lovers, people in your life will come and go – but your brothers and sisters will be there for you.  They will work it all out.  They will fight and scream, and sometimes swing at each other, but they will find their way together.  If they know that I am not going to always be there to stop the fights and make it right, I truly believe they will figure out that they alone have to do this.

Corssing my fingers and turning the shower up, so I can’t hear them!


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  • I live in evanston and would be interested in talking to someone at your daughter's school regarding their disability awareness program. I am working with the school district as a parent volunteer in my son's elementary school to raise disability awareness. Can you help me get in touch with someone Patty?

  • In reply to cjm1040:

    That would be great. I am on the Disability Awareness committee and could tell you all abut our program, and also hook yu up with the rest of the group.
    Email me on my personal email at and I will give you my number.

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