12 Nov Resolve an argument
I admit to dragging my daughter to a few public speaking meetings (Toastmasters). The venue is over an hour commute and involves 3 trains and 2 buses. It is also in the evenings, which means she has finished a full day at school, her homework and is tired by the 7pm start. By the time we get home at 10pm, the child is exhausted.
So why do it? She is only 10 after all, she doesn’t need to lobby the government just yet.
Here is one reason….
Last week one of the mothers from my daughter’s class approached me at the school gates. She told me that my daughter has not been very nice to her daughter. I was obviously upset by this news, no mother likes to think of her child as mean. I suggested that we bring the kids together to discuss their feelings and perhaps understand why there has been a change in behaviour.
We met the next day for ‘The Talk’. The below is a snippet of the discussion that followed:
Friend’s mother: “Jane, tell us why Janet’s daughter has upset you?”
Jane: “umm………….’’ Silence. “Well………………….’’ Silence. “It’s just’’………….…’’ Silence.
1 very long minute pass.
Jane: “Ummmmm…………………….I dunno’’
I felt badly for her and so I turned to my daughter:
Me: “Can you think of anything that you have done to upset Jane?”
My daughter: “YES I can explain’’ she says calmly “Jane, you have been moody with me since school began this year. Sometimes you want to play with me, sometimes you don’t. To be very honest, it has hurt my feelings…alot, and so I have decided to ignore you when you are in one of your bad moods. I also decided to stop trying to be your friend when you clearly don’t want to be mine.”
My daughter continues for few more minutes until she feels like she has unloaded her burden and then stops speaking.
Jane and Jane’s mom both stare at my daughter for an uncomfortable moment, until Jane says: “I had not thought about it like that. I am really sorry.”
My daughter: “I really am sorry too.”
End of conversation. End of argument.
I realised that my daughter has acquired a skill that she will need throughout her life. The skill of honest and clear communication. Jane will not be the last person with whom she will argue.
Every one clashes from time to time and we rely on the art of communication to help us to resolve our differences. I believe that my daughter is well on her way to mastering this art.
Perhaps you can too?
Thanks for reading,