“I have not yet begun to fight.” – John Paul Jones
Well, there was some trouble last night. There was a fight in our home…a big fight. Surprisingly, the fight was not between the boys. The big fight was between my husband and I. I say fight, because that is what the kids called it. But really it was a very loud discussion.
There is always a lot of fighting in my home. The daily grind of the kids getting into squabble after squabble can be a bit draining. The boys seem to have a lot to fight about. Sometimes, the mere sight of another brother can cause a conflict. But usually, conflict between the boys is over stuff. No one likes other people touching or even thinking about touching their stuff. And when you have a little four-year old who wants to get ahold of all the teenager’s cool things, that can lead to a lot of fighting.
But last night, the fighting was between the parents. Husband and wife did battle. There was name calling, accusations and some very loud voices. Okay, I won’t sugar coat it…we were yelling. My husband and I get along really well. As a matter of fact, he is sitting across from the table as I type to you right now. I even told him I was doing a blog about our fight last night. He said for me to go right ahead. See, we communicate.
My husband and I do not normally argue very much. Mainly because we are too busy playing referee to the boy’s fighting. But every once in a while we cannot seem to agree on things. Disagreements are rare, but they do happen. The thing is, when you have children in the house it is hard to get the situation worked out because they are always around. The minute the voices get raised, the kids either run to hide or come to the room you are in to see what they can do to help out. Neither situation is good.
My boys do not like when my husband and I fight. I mean really, does any kid like it? Parents arguing means there is a breakdown in the system. Role modeling is one of the parents biggest tools for educating children. If mom and dad are hashing it out in the kitchen, how is this helpful for the child to learn to stay calm? Well, it isn’t helpful at all. But the reality is no one can agree on everything and people want to be heard. At least in my family.
My family is very big on the concept of speaking to be heard. We value each others opinions, sort of, and listening to each other is very important. Usually, the arguments start when one person does not take the time to listen to the other person. My husband and I spend a great deal of time trying to get to the ‘heart’ of a difficult situation. It is not easy, especially when you think the person is talking baloney, but out of respect we listen openly. We are not always successful in our listening. Sometimes my children feel they are equal to the parents and can tell us how a situation should be handled. In those cases, hubby and I pull rank. We are the parents and we call the shots. Listening can only go so far sometimes.
However, when my husband an I argue there is no pulling rank. We must continue our discussion until the situation is resolved or until we are too exhausted to continue. The actual discussion (yelling) makes the children very uncomfortable. Last night they told us to go in the garage, to hash it out. A small house makes it difficult to argue effectively, as there is not place to for privacy. We did not move our fight to the garage, we stayed put in the kitchen. We did not handle the situation well.
Between the two of us, my husband is more stubborn. I am sure he will not love me saying that, but I think it is true. During the argument, my Tall Boy came to me with a suggestion.
“Mom, just go tell Dad you are sorry. Give him a hug and he will tell you he is sorry too.” – Tall Boy
I was not ready at the time to tell my husband I was sorry. As a matter of fact, I was insisting he apologize to me. The fight, which was a silly one, was going on for too long. The boy’s faces were becoming strained and troubled. I was trying so hard to make my point known, but the truth is everyone already knew my point. I decided to give in. I went over to my husband and told him I was sorry for the fight. I gave him a big hug. The hug seemed to work wonders for me, because I did not feel as angry anymore. My Tall Boy had given some good advice.
My husband apologized and hugged me back. It was over. Husband and I told the kids we were sorry for arguing and we did the big family ‘group’ hug, as suggested by the little guy. While I am not proud of having an argument in front of the kids, I am proud that my husband and I can show how a situation can be resolved. My husband and I are not perfect. We have never been. But thank goodness, we do not have to be.