We are awaiting baby #3 on top of being home for 3 straight months (COVID) which makes for many opportunities to “fight fair” with my 2 toddlers. Just yesterday, I was clawed at and told “I hate this house, that baby, and you!!!!” It’s easy to take this stuff personally. I’m 9 months pregnant, in 95 degree South Florida heat, and to be quite honest ready for these gals to start summer camp so we can all get a little space… 😉
Through my own inner healing work however, I’ve been able to embrace + utilize the gentle parenting style (most of the time) that I never received. The words or actions of my girls no longer threaten or offend me. I’m able to welcome the emotions + aggression, and pause to observe with curiosity. Getting on their level, checking my tone, and being sure I remain the safe adult figure for them + me is key. I can easily bully or scream or punish their explosions away, but that gets us no where. I want to tend to the unmet need beneath. ((Is she hungry? Tired? Is she feeling anxious? Does she need some alone time with me? Some outdoor time?)) .
I don’t want conformers. I don’t want kids who listen + behave + are respectful, yet don’t know how to hold a conversation or disagree or debate. I want children who have opposing ideas + can express them. I want to raise kiddos that know while others may not always like them, that they’ll be loved + accepted by us and their Creator forever. I want to remind them daily that their feelings + thoughts matter + are welcomed, even if messy… and that there is more to life than people pleasing + fitting in + smiling politely all the time.
But that practice starts at home with me. Debating with my kids is exhausting, it takes a lot out of me. Yet every time it happens I remember that this exposure to fighting fair as a family will be how they manage difficult challenges later in life. They know they are safe + allowed to disagree with me, and that I’ll be here no matter what.
What’s your biggest challenge when fighting fair with your kids? I also have an IGTV video on this from a few months back. Take a 👀