This summer will forever be known in our family as the summer that my daughters, 6 and 3, learned to be sisters.
I just had an older brother growing up, and believe it or not (which my husband doesn’t believe it!), my brother and I never fought. I would play hot wheels and GI Joe with him and he probably even played dolls with me. But I don’t ever remember getting into it with him.
My oldest daughter went to all-day kindergarten last year, so it has been an adjustment for both of them to be around each other pretty much all day, every day this summer. It amazes me how these two girls can go from giggling to “did not!” “did too!” in a fraction of a second.
So my dilemma has been this: When do I intervene and when do I let them figure it out? Of course sometimes I need to be the referee but sometimes I think it is good for them to resolve their issues on their own, although it takes every ounce of tongue-holding to not yell at them to knock it off. If you read my earlier post – Just Let Go Already! – you know that I have some control issues. Like today in the midst of a typical lunch-time incident of the younger one messing with the older one’s plate, I was feeding the baby in the other room and literally had to close my eyes and pretend I was somewhere else so I wouldn’t yell at them to knock it off.
I mean really, a mom can only take so much of “I was sitting there!” or “stop touching me!”
All of this quality time they have been spending together has led to yet another issue. The truth.
You know what I am talking about. Mom is in the other room. All of a sudden there is crying. You rush in “What happened?” But really, why do we even ask that? Because today, before I even got the words out of my mouth, my oldest daughter said “I didn’t do anything to her!”
Yeah? Well then why did her little sister have a bump and bruise in the middle of her forehead? So technically she didn’t do anything to her. It was the arm of the old chair she was flopping around on and rocking in. And all her little sister was trying to do was give her a hug.
I struggle with this stuff because I know if I don’t take the right path in dealing with it now, they will never know how to resolve conflict properly without running in and saying “Mom….she won’t give back my….” And if we allow them to get away with bending the truth or don’t encourage them to fess up when they made a mistake….these things can be the beginning of disaster as they get older.