Are you sure you're right?
I teach my kids to argue their perspective in a confident & respectful way. I teach them never to fear any person older than them. It is not their fault they were born later. I teach them that respect is looking some one in the eye & say what you feel to their face. The only appropriate way to talk about people is to their face to whom it may concern & not behind their back like a coward. You cannot resolve an issue behind some ones back speaking to a 3rd party that was never even involved. This idea has proven such astonishing results in our ability as a family to get to the bottom of something, with every one feeling they have a voice & it shall be heard...even to my own shame.
Last night during the bath drill, no 2 & no 3 were in the bath together. We follow a protocol of heating up the water just before the next pair gets in. No 1 & no 4 bathed first. We coach swimming so our kids swim almost every day. Bathing is basically washing off chlorine. Before no 1 & 4 gets out they heat up the water to rinse a last time so the water is also warm & ready for the other 2.
10 min after the first 2 got out...I hear Peta calling mommy over & over again...asking if she could heat up the water again...but mommy keeps refusing her. After another 10 minutes of yelling back & forth mommy finally walks into the bathroom ready to fight...my kids immediately defend their position and yell at her:
Lucius: "you are not listening to us!...
Peta: The water is cold!" Come feel for yourself!!
As mommy dips her hand into the really cold water (which Mila did not heat up before she got out)...
Lucius says: (extremely frustrated @ that point) "you see...you think you know, but you don't!"
At that moment I drop my head in shame reflecting on every time I thought I had all the info I needed in order to execute my verdict without double checking the facts...
I felt so proud in that moment that my son stood his ground & pointed his finger in the right direction...@ us.
Just because we reach the end of our patience or tolerance for something doesn't mean we were paying attention to the facts or gathering any info. Yet we act as if we we do while we expect our kids to receive & swallow what we dish out. Kids don't deserve the short end of our patience when we didn't even make an effort to verify the facts before accusations, punishments & unnecessary words descend. In my home it is not acceptable to silence them because they are younger & smaller. How will they do business with the world if you do not teach them to apply themselves.
There is no where in the adult society where accusing some one wrongfully will be received well. When I hear people talk about their kids & their home cultures in social environments, I most often walk away with a strong impression that Parents don't seem to care how many mistakes they make with their kids. Some even deem them too dumb or immature to know what's happening so its ok. Yet the parent boast proudly that they, at least, did something.
A simple habit to buy you time before you act can prove the difference between a series of impulsive reactions or thoughtful responses. Lets give our babies the best of our patience...the best of our judgment, the best of our discernment & ability to be just & fair. Our families deserve the best of us first before any one else gets it.
Let us rather give the world what is left...after all, we are not responsible for them & we're not busy raising the world...
We receive respect from our kids...because we give them something that is worthy of respect.
Your kids will treat you the same way you treated them when its your time to go back to diapers again...!