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Thursday, November 29, 2007

Does the bickering ever end?

I am endlessly seeking a way to end the ceaseless bickering that goes on between my sons. If you have children of any age able to communicate verbally, I am certain that you know my pain. I cracked up recently at two specific ridiculous arguments between the boys. One happened on the way home from the airport after the boys had returned from a week-long visit to their dad's house in Utah. They were recounting all of their adventures of the past week but mysteriously neither one of them could agree or support the other about 75% of the details. If one said they went ice skating downtown the other insisted it was in Park City-you get the idea. After about 10 minutes of this I finally asked, "Hey guys, did you guys have any fun at all or did you just argue the whole time?" Amazingly, this incited another war of yeah we did argue-no we didn't-yeah we did... Unbelievable-arguing about whether or not they argue!

So the next one was even funnier. I wish I could even remember what started this conversation but it was about something that had happened at school. McCall has reached a point where I am constantly taken aback by his surprising wit and mental ability which does often lead him to produce a convincing argument based purely on his view of the world and with some disregard for fact at all. Oddly, this can sometimes be confusing for adults because he does make you think about the strangest things. He also has learned that calling an idea an "opinion" can excuse any actual need to support it with fact. So one of his favorite methods for weaseling out of a situation where he has said too much is by saying, "Well, that's just my opinion." While I can't remember the "thing" he was disputing yesterday, the conversation to a point where McCall said very calmly (even though the entire point of his discussion was to rile his brother) "Well, that's just my opinion." Landry had had enough of his arrogance and said right back to him, "Well, your opinion makes my opinion mad!"

I think I may have a future debate team on my hands!

So, I have to know...
Do your kids duke it out daily?
Are you prone to a verbal battle?
Does conflict cause you to shut down? (I'm a serious avoider.)
Do you have any great methods for putting out these "fires" and creating peace in your home? (Landry prays daily no to fight with his brother...McCall doesn't.)


michelle said...

This is hilarious, Jen. (though moreso I'm sure to me, since I'm not their mother!) I love the "that's just my opinion" thing. My kids don't bicker all that much. When they do, I tell them I'm going to separate them if they don't quit it, and that is usually enough to put a stop to it. They know I don't tolerate them speaking unkindly to each other. (they may do it in the privacy of their own room, though, without my knowledge!)

Since Landry prays not to fight and McCall doesn't, maybe you should teach Landry to practice ignoring the instigator. It's not very rewarding to argue when the other person won't participate.

As for me, I do totally shut down in the face of conflict. Not too healthy, but I'm a serious avoider as well. Good luck!

:: kerrie :: said...

I love these stories! Especially little Landry's comment. And it's little Griffin's birthday! Please do post pictures of his cuteness! I miss you guys!

Jill said...

The bickering sounds amusing from where I sit, but I can't stand it when my kids do it. Fortunately they get along pretty well and rarely get out of control, but on the times they have I make them sit on the couch facing each other holding hands and saying nice things about each other until they can talk nicely. This works unbelievably well because they end up laughing like crazy. They end up forgetting what they were fighting about and start a new game of coming up with the most ridiculous compliments for each other.

Claudissima said...

oh my...I was tormented by it, growing up and now my two little ones, even though one doesn't talk yet...are it everyday...I can only imagine my dismay when they start actually debating....My mother would say...if you have nothing to say say nothing at all....somehow...I don't know that will last long

Anonymous said...

I love the way McCall uses "Opinion". I also have times where I would like to pull out the boxing gloves it would be better than the words they use to "box"/ "opinions" on each other. As for punishment. Well, I use that energy to work. Things like scrubbing the floor by hand. Also time out works. They sit with the timer on. The time limit is usally the older childs age. They sit next to each other at the table. when the timer goes off they can leave, but better be getting along.

I meet you at the blog party. Know you live in Carlsbad. What ward did you end up in? I grew up in the Carlsbad 3rd ward! There are alot of great people there. I actually lived in South Oceanside,but we were in Carlsbad 3 ward. Bishop lived on our block! I miss the weather! Not really enjoying all the cold to much.