One day, two of my kids got into a squabble. I reckoned it was the usual stuff; siblings fight over the darnest things! On and on they both went. At first, I wanted to interfere and possibly settle the ‘quanta’ but I just let them be jare.
As they argued, one yelled at the other? “Are you okay?” The younger one retorted: “Yes, I am very okay!”
Then there was silence.
I waited to see if things would escalate.
The silence lasted a few more minutes; say about three minutes.
Like water to a fire, his temper was doused. He focused on the crux of their argument, in much lower tones this time around.
She just stood and stared.
He walked away. Apparently weakened by her response or perhaps he had just about had it and had no more steam to let off.
Her response?! That was all it took to diffuse the tension.
Unknown to her, she was merely responding to a question which required an answer. She did not interpret the question as an insult to her sanity. I mean she took absolutely no offense at his question.
Did he intend to just ask a question or to actually insult her? I wondered.
In this scenario, nothing else besides an insult was all he intended to throw at her. Nevertheless, her interpretation, which led to her response, allowed her to argue without necessarily being livid.
I was reminded that I can decide to give an empowering meaning to what is thrown at me. I may not be able to determine how people will treat me but I can sure decide how to respond.
I rebuked them both and explained why it was unnecessary to fight. I explained that hurling insults at one another or at anyone was even worse and they should not do that again.
There you have it. Another parenting opportunity. I can only hope I handled that well.