Fight the Good Fight

What kind of parents would allow themselves to be treated like their child’s sister or brother? The parents of only children. There are times when kids need to fight…with someone. You just happen to be the only ones around. In a household with more than one child , the kids would be going at it with one another. In the one-child home, you can find yourself in a screaming match and suddenly realize that you are behaving exactly like your eleven-year-old. By the time you catch yourself, you feel like an idiot. The dean of a middle school (someone hardened by years of dealing with young adolescents) once explained that an adult should not engage in a quarrel with a child for more than 10 minutes. After that, she suggested that the mature adult find a creative way to shut things down. Great advice, unless the child refuses to give up and follows you through the house insisting that he is right and you are a stone-age relic who can’t possibly understand anything. You can always admit to being a relic when you see no other chance to escape. Try saying, “You are right, I don’t get it…BUT.” The “you are right” does wonders. For a second your child thinks you have finally seen the light. Then he is caught off guard with, “BUT…I don’t care if all of the other guys are going to be picked up at midnight, You’re going to be home by 9:00.“

In a battle of wills with an only child retain some perspective and remember—part of the fight is for the fight’s sake…a chance to release energy. Even if your child does consider you the least cool person on the planet, it is often the action, the rush of adrenaline that your child craves. If you can remember this in the thick of battle, you may even enjoy making yourself look ridiculous from time to time.