The short answer is NO we don’t.  But it’s not that easy.  Having a little patience, conveying understanding, and good effective communication will go a long way to not getting into arguments with kids.  When we are drawn into arguments with our children, we are brought down to their level and then we lose the parental authority we should have.  People in charge do not argue, they simply command.  There are things we can do as parents to help win the battle over arguing.  Arguments often have an element of expressing emotions and a request.  For example, the parent says, “It’s time to go to bed”.  The child responds, “Can I stay up longer?  I’m not finished playing my game and I’m not even tired!”  We’ve all been here before and know how this usually turns out.  Instead of getting caught up into the reasons she needs to go to bed now, we go down a different path.  Instead, we say something such as, “How is your game going?  I know you hate to stop and go to bed now.  I bet it’s difficult to go to bed when you don’t feel tired”.  This path allows the child to express their feelings and opens up communication.  It doesn’t mean we have to change our mind about the request, but we can avoid arguments by just opening up the communication a little more, letting our child be heard, and defusing the argument.  In the end, we might say, “I know you want to finish, but it’s bedtime now.”   This often defuses an argument and the child feels heard, even though they don’t agree with the request.  Sometimes it’s the little things that can change the course of the conversation.

Sheri Miller

Sheri graduated with her B.S. ED and M.S. from Northern Illinois University

Do we really have to argue with our kids?

► Sheri Miller time to read: 1 min