parenting

Work It Out Philosophy

Boys waiting for SantaSiblings argue and fight; I know my kids do. They are very different people and are working out their place in this world as well as with each other. At what age can we stop intervening in the day to day squabbles and tell them to “work it out”?

I have a friend of mine who has two boys that are a bit older than mine. One day they came off the bus arguing back and forth. She calmly walked them to the powder room, put them both inside and said don’t come out until you have figured it out. She said there were elevated voices and lots of back and forth, but they worked it out. At what age can I start using this?

I want my kids to learn how to fight their own battles and figure out how to compromise. They need to be strong but understanding. These are hard lessons to teach outside of the moments.

Will is still little in some ways, but in other ways he knows exactly what to do to push his brother’s buttons. I am sure that is part of being the younger brother; I wouldn’t know since I am the oldest. He also now recognizes when he is doing something wrong on purpose, so he is aware.

Our mornings usually end up with the boys getting irritated with each other at least once before school. Some mornings I try to intervene, but other days I just can’t handle it and close the door to the playroom.

Over the weekend, Jim tried our friend’s method of telling them to work it out and it kind of worked. I think Will is still a bit young to force them to figure it out on their own if it is something big.

Have you employed the “work it out” philosophy? At what age do you think it is appropriate? And what techniques worked for you?

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