with Talyaa Liera
I'm Talyaa, the poster child for the concept that there's no one right way to be a parent. I went from stay-at-home attachment-parenting mom of four to being the non-custodial parent, working as a professional writer and channel-psychic. Let's talk about throwing away the parenting manual and exploding the myths and mystique of motherhood!
Check out my personal blog at Juxtapositioning.
Bickering. That’s what my parents called it. “Stop bickering!” they’d hiss menacingly from the car’s front seat. Immediately my brother and I would stare out through opposite car windows, biding our time so we could open the discussion again out of parental earshot.
Our discussions went something like this:
“No, I’m right!”
“I’m older, so I’m more right.”
[Silence. Age is sacrosanct. Every child knows that his place in the universe is predicated on age.]
Invoking the deity: “Mooooooom!”
Knowing everything that I knew about what it was like to grow up with an older brother and the fights that ensued, I went ahead and had kids anyway. Like squeezing out cookies from the cookie press that you drag out at holidays. One, two, three, four. And the kids fought. Mainly it’s Number Two and Number Three, since Number One is light-years older than the rest and Number Four has his own agenda. Fine, the other two more than make up for any lack of effort on the part of the others. Fight, fight, fight.
What’s a parent to do when siblings fight?
All of this came up for me the other day when a client came to me with a problem. Her two boys fight and the sound sets her teeth on edge. For a look at how a lot of parents answered this question, Lisa Belkin over at NYT’s Motherlode just opened the same topic with some interesting results. Most parents there talked about their experiences as children and how everything turned out all right for them in the end with their brothers and sisters, a comforting thought when you’re living the nightmare as a parent. Hey! We were damaged but we turned out okay! It’s going to be all right! The apples don’t fall far from the tree, do they?
As parents, we make the mistake of thinking that the behavior of our children is a reflection of who we are. While kid behavior is certainly influenced by the model we present and the lessons we try to instill in our kids, sometimes (like the cigar) a fight is just a fight. But the fighting is painful to us because it makes us think we have failed as parents.
I have compiled a highly scientific list of the reasons kids fight:
1. They can.
4. Sense of competition.
5. To mess with you.
6. It’s hardwired.
7. There’s a guy with a giant remote control who loves to mess with us.
When my kids fight, I gauge the severity of the fight not by loudness but by the evilness of the sounds. You get to know which sounds create bruises later on. I have been known to instruct my kids to not come to me to referee their fights unless blood is involved (recommended).
By the way, I have created the Sibling Fighting Survival Kit for Parents ($34.99) It contains the following:
- Strong will
If that doesn’t work, I’ve also created the Parent’s Emergency Sibling Fighting Survival Kit ($3099.99) It contains the following:
- Two tickets to Puerta Vallarta
- All-inclusive hotel stay for five (5) nights
- My patented Child Restraint System*
Have any better ideas? Do your kids fight? What do you do?
*roll of duct tape and a box of saltines. Simply apply the duct tape liberally and place child within easy reach of saltines for the duration of your stay abroad. Happy travels!
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