The kids are sniping, griping and just being sassy. You’ve gotta get dinner on the table and do 3 loads of laundry before bedtime. And there’s clearly 2 hours of homework stretching out in front of you – even though you know it “should” only take 20 minutes. And then, it happens. Your daughter snaps back at you when you ask her to do something simple, like feed the dog: “No!” she screams, and stomps off to her room.
Is it “worth the fight”?
The short answer: No.
But it’s more complicated than that, isn’t it?
It’s not that you don’t address the issue, or hold your child accountable. There is a conversation to have (later, when she’s not triggered), probably some natural consequence to follow. The dog might not be able to wait, so you may want to identify something else that could be expected of her, a “replacement” chore to communicate at a later time.
When kids are emotional, or bratty, or difficult, something is going on with them — they are usually hungry, angry, lonely, tired, scared, disappointed, etc. They have to learn to manage those difficult situations in life – and you have the opportunity to help them with that, as long as you don’t take up the fight.
As adults, when we choose not to take their reactions personally, when we are clear and compassionate, then we don’t need to fight with our kids. Instead, we can accept where they are in their stage of development. And we can create an environment that teaches them to correct their mistakes without shame.
So if you make the decision that it’s never worth the fight – what’s the opportunity, instead?