Apr 10, 2012

Work It Out

I don't have a lot of memories of fighting with my sister.  Don't get me wrong, I'm sure we had our share of disagreements and even fights, I just don't recall anything specific.  I do, however, remember that the few times we went to my mom about them (few, I think because she established this precedent early on) her response was always, I don't want to hear it. Work it out yourselves.

And we must have.  Even though I don't remember what we did, we must have worked things out, because I don't begrudge my sister things from our childhood.  And although we now joke about which of us is the "favorite" daughter at any given time, we are not serious.  In fact, I never felt that my parents favored either of us.  Any comparing done was purely my own.

(Now before you tell me that, as the youngest, my memories might be different than my older sister's, I assure you that she and I have had discussions about this very thing.)

With two children of my own, I worry about this.  How do I make my girls feel equally important?  I do not want them to look back on their childhood and feel that one was favored more than the other.  To have memories of me taking sides.

I know that at two and four, they may be a bit young to "work it out themselves"; however, I do think I sometimes intervene too quickly and need to stay out of their arguments more often.

Because, really, what benefit am I giving my children by always jumping in?  My girls need to learn how to work disagreements out between themselves.  They need to gain the tools now so that they can use those tools later, in school, in the workplace, and in any relationship.

But I can promise you that when the time comes, I will take out my mother's saying and use it whenever I can.


  1. I tell my sons (5 and 2.5) to work it out amongst themselves all the time. I think partially because my eldest is a bit of a tattletale. His little brother is a little bit of a bully so I want him to learn to stick up for himself a bit. It works for about 3 seconds before the screaming starts. But I completely know what you mean about how to make each of them feel equally important. I know that they won't have "equal" experiences per se but I try hard to make sure that they feel equally loved.

  2. I love the saying 'work it out' and use it with my own kids. LOVE this.


Any thoughts? I'd love to hear from you!