5/9/11

The Art of Looking Away

Being a parent is hard work. It is never-ending work. But think about the purpose of all the work, as parents, we are raising a new generation. Wow! That's big. Too big for today.

Ever have a day where you feel like all you have done is listened to tattling, bickering, and nasty tones coming from your wonderful offspring? Ever want to take that referee jersey that you wear figuratively and burn it? You know you have. I know I have. It is exhausting to keep on top of siblings when they are not "playing nice" like we all envisioned when we thought, "Sure, let's have another kiddo. They can be friends!". I am not giving up hope that at the end of this journey called Childhood, my children will be friends. In fact, I specifically pray this for my children.

Of course, when my Mini's get along, it is sometimes just as stressful. You know, the noise level is just as loud and often someone ends up hurt.  There are definately times when, just to survive the day, hour, even minute, you just have to look away.  There is nothing wrong with that.  But there are a few things we as parents need to keep in mind as we make the choice to "unnotice" what is going on around us.

1. Use the Look Away Method sparingly.  If you never break it up or calm it down, your kiddos may begin to think it is always okay to be so loud that the neighbors know who did what to whom first. 
2. Image is Everything. You may not have eyes in the back of your head but for many years, if done correctly, our children believe we do and this is an excellent way to keep them in line.  If you are consistantly "looking away" then you loose that method of controlling the behavior of your kids ;)
3. Actually Look Away.  Know what is going on but let them work it out.  They have to figure out how to compromise, win/lose, share, and such on their own anyway, right?  So let them practice.  And who better to practice with than a sibling who always be there no matter what?  As long as no one is getting hurt and no obvious rules are being broken, let it go. 

I'm sure there are other things to keep in mind as we referee, I mean, help foster healthy, fun relationships between siblings.  I don't think this part of parenting is every easy or very fun but it is a part of the job description.  Learn the Art of Looking Away and use it.  This is one way we hang on to our sanity throughout the sometimes very long day. 

Any thoughts on Looking Away?  Please share. 

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