Today I was just going to have a good ole fashioned moan about my daughter and the argument we had yesterday – a case study in the life of parenting a teenager perhaps.
To be honest it was the “mother” of all arguments and I can’t remember the last time we actually had a fight like that, which is a really good thing. What is sad, is I couldn’t exactly tell you how it started – and isn’t that often the case with arguments?
I think it was one of those situations which started off as a bit of a joke, quickly spiraling into us both having massive sense of humour failures. So much so, that the aftermath lasted over 3 hours in which time we barely spoke to each other, and when we did, we made the situation much worse for a while before it improved. The good news is we persevered and made up in the end.
So many things went through my mind, in the “not talking to each other phase”. I was cross and upset but hate arguing with anyone, especially my kids.
I was so incensed because I felt my daughter had been mean and disrespectful…but it took me a while to realise I had actually said some things I shouldn’t have and didn’t behave it the loveliest way at all.
I kept flipping between wanting to stay angry and hurt, to feeling compelled to “fix” the situation as my daughter is off interrailing at the end of the week. And when she goes, I will really miss her.
So, I refer back to the title of this post…are arguments ever a good thing? Funnily enough, I did feel some positives came out of the whole situation and often do.
Firstly, when we had both calmed down and were ready to talk – we both apologized for hurting each other’s feelings. For two quite highly strung, stubborn women – this was a positive thing.
Secondly, whilst we apologised, we both stood our ground on what we believed we hadn’t done wrong and the beauty of older children is they won’t actually let you get away with anything.
Long gone are the days when I used to halt a disagreement with “because Mummy said so”…wow, I was lazy parent at times, when my kids were little. And actually, I don’t mind being held to account, if I am wrong and God knows I am not perfect.
Similarly the days of me cosseting my kids by sparing their feelings and not saying what I really feel are over. Right now I can be more honest and open with my kids than I have ever been before.
And finally, the best bit, whatever the age of your children is the hugs. They may not be as free flowing as when they were toddlers, but when they hug you, they really mean it, and it still is the BEST feeling in the world.
So on balance I’d rather not argue with anyone – especially my kids. But if it means we understand each other a little better, things are clearer and we are more thoughtful and empathetic towards each other – well, that must be a good thing, don’t you think?