Saturday, November 28, 2015

When Kids Bicker: A Mom's Solution

Peace, love and no bickering

For some reason, I still get surprised when our kids at college say how much they can't wait to come home. They love being home and soak it in. There's playing with the younger kids -- "Hey guys, let's wrestle," says Ethan -- and there's home cooking -- "Mmmmmm. Mashed potatoes," says Evie -- and movie nights -- some serious laughs when "The Russians Are Coming! The Russians Are Coming!" is on the TV.  Games, telling stories about the crazy things the older kids did when they were little, soccer matches in the front yard, impromptu music sessions, eating ... check that, LOTS of eating, are all in the mix when the family is home together over a holiday or weekend when the collegians return.

But it's not always peace, love and family harmony. Sometimes the Sabo family kids experience a dreaded condition called "bickering." Perhaps you are familiar with this condition as well. It can be highly contagious and very debilitating. It has the potential to be deadly as well, killing any and all joy in the house.

Are you familiar with this `bickering' disease? Well, we're here to help. At no cost to you we have interviewed a world-renowned expert in the field of child bickering and sat down with a very brief interview with this noted authority. Here's a transcript of the interview.

Me: Good morning.
Julie Sabo: Good morning.
Me: You look great by the way. I love you.
Julie Sabo: Um, thanks. What do you want?
Me: Oh, nothing babe. I just wanted to ask you a question if you have a minute in between getting Seth dressed, fixing breakfast, answering a million questions from little kids and settling an argument over the ownership of that toy sword that seems to be causing some sort of internal family conflict.
Julie Sabo: And the question is ...
Me: Well, it seems to be particularly apropos at the moment. But I'm wondering how you solve bickering between children.
Julie Sabo: Just curious, but how many kids do you have?
Me: Same as you my love. Fourteen.
Julie Sabo: And how long have you had kids?
Me: Uh, well if my math is right around 26 years.
Julie Sabo: And you don't know the answer to this question yet?
Me: Well, I just thought it would be best to hear from you. You have a way with words, not to mention being an expert in child psychology.
Julie Sabo: I see.
Me: Soooooo, the answer is ...
Julie Sabo: I try to get to the root of the problem. I'm training and working on character. So instead of just training behavior in the moment, I'm thinking bigger picture. I want to be training and teaching in non-conflict moments. So I work on patience, kindness, sharing, love and forgiveness.
Me: Wow. That's really good.
Julie Sabo: Thanks.

And there you go. Some key points to highlight from my perspective include these quotes:
--Training in non-conflict moments
--Working on patience, kindness, sharing, love and forgiveness

I tell you. I'm going to start writing this stuff down!

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