"That's mine!" "No! It's mine!" "No!" "Yes!"
Ugh. Sound familiar? The selfishness buried in all of us comes out so evidently from our children. Our first impulse as parents, when we have to deal with scenarios like this one, is to referee the situation by being fair.
"Who had it first? Alright, then, you get it first and then we'll take turns."
Hmmm... but does this solution really deal with the heart of the issue... that both children are selfish and not putting the other before himself/ herself?
Ted Tripp, in his book, Shepherding a Child's Heart, opened my eyes to the ineffectiveness to this way of parenting. Remember, we're all about proactive parenting, and if we want to raise generous, selfless children who consider others before themselves then we must get to the heart of the matter. And by doing that, you are dealing with future issues as well!
The child who takes a toy his brother is playing with is selfish. The brother who refuses to let his sibling have it is selfish. They're both selfish. The selfishness of both children must be addressed.
The parent in the above scenario certainly should hear out both sides of the argument but separately speak to each child during a time out. The first sibling may not just grab a toy someone else is playing with. "You are only thinking of yourself here. You did not think about your brother at all. You should ask him politely and say, 'When you're done with that, may I have it, please?' " The second sibling must also be thinking of the other child. "Sure, you may play with this toy. And when you're done, I'd like it back, please."
I tried this out with my kids one day when they were fighting over who would get which seat in the van. "I want to sit here!" "No! I am sitting here!" "I want the good seat!" "No!" "Yes!" Ugh. "Children," I said, "Stop. You're all being selfish. You're only thinking of yourselves here. You should be arguing, "You sit here in the nice seat." "Oh no, I insist, you have it today." "Oh, please, you have it first and I'll have it on the return trip." Well, they laughed at this and it certainly diffused the situation and got the point across. Often after this I rewarded the child who selflessly put the other sibling before himself/ herself.
And now for a refashion...
I spent $17 on this top from a store in the mall just 1 year ago and accidentally threw it in the dryer. Yikes! I still tried to wear it because I love the color, by putting it underneath a jacket but it wasn't a pretty sight! And honestly, the elastic was very uncomfortable. Should I just send it to the thrift store?
At least my dog liked it.