Probably the most difficult thing about parenting that I am learning is “staying out of it”. So, what exactly do I mean by this?? Well, when the kids fight, I am learning to let them try to resolve it themselves without interference from me. So far there have been no knock down – drag out fights – which would definitely necessitate me to act as a referee. It’s hard for me to stay out of it because I love them all, want them to get along, and want them to treat each other fairly. (reminds me a bit of God as He looks at us, wanting us to be unified as believers) However, they need to learn to resolve things on their own and forgive on their own without me telling them to do it. I have a long way to go in “staying out of it” especially when it concerns their friends.
Let me explain….We’ve been home for about 2 weeks now and we’ve had 3 sleepovers with friends. Now, when this happens inevitably the siblings at the Peck House can disagree about what they are going to play, who gets to play with whom(is it whom in this case??), and who gets to sleep where. Last night was a great example because the girls each had a friend come to church with us and then spend the night. Eddie did not have a friend spend the night and he was pretty upset that they didn’t want to play what he wanted to play. Eddie also didn’t enjoy sleeping in a room by himself when the girls each had a friend over. Now, don’t feel too badly for Eddie because he had a friend spend the night last week and is playing with a friend today, and….he is only 7. More turns for him will come. JR finally stepped in and had some dad-son time with Eddie playing foosball. When it’s between just our kids, usually things can be straightened out, despite the difficulty.
However, when it’s issues between my kids and their friends, that’s where the real challenge lies – figuring out when to step in and help resolve conflict and when not to say anything. Usually, when the friends are over, I stay out of it mostly because I’m just chicken. But, when all the friends are gone and I have time with my kids alone, sometimes I give them a little too much instruction on how I think they should be around their friends and how I think they should get along. The worst part about this is that I am the LEAST qualified to give them instruction in this area, but I can’t seem to stop myself from doing it. I think part of this is that I just so want them to have good friends and keep them as friends, so much so that I go over board in the “trying to help” mode. So, lately, I am praying a lot about it. I am hopeful that if I pray before I talk to them, that maybe I want stick my foot in my mouth as much and maybe I will learn to stay out of it more frequently and just be quiet.