Many times a day I make decisions. When my family day care was in full swing, the number of decisions were astronomical! Especially when it came to being the judge and jury of all things “fair”.
Nowadays, kids are told to seek arbitration for every disagreement. This is a time consuming endeavor as well as a “cop out” on learning how to deal with others.
We all know kids who find excessive infractions to complain about. Everyone knows complaints, and complainers, get lots of attention.
So what’s the guide for a happy medium with children?
Well first, consider the complaint. Eliminating all things that could cause physical harm is priority #1. This can be evaluated in a flash usually by the tone and urgency of the complainant. (The theatrical types aren’t usually academy award level so even they can be decoded at a glance.)
Secondly, the complainer’s reputation is a litmus test. Sorry, but The Boy Who Cried Wolf is a parable with a real life impact. I wouldn’t disregard that kid because even broken clocks are right twice a day, but my questions would lack enthusiasm. Yes, I’ll likely roll my eyes. Kids need to learn to read clues if they are going to navigate this world. (Spare me a comment about kids with Autism. I know the difference.)
Thirdly, there may be an immediate judgement from my “court” if something aggregious has happened. The destruction of a reading book or a shoving match, would require my intervention. But, equally as often, my advice to the complainant is to figure it out for himself.
I always instructed the kids that removing themselves from the unhappy situation is a wonderful idea and compromise is also an excellent tool. Then, I get out of the way.
When I was a kid, I heard, “Don’t make a Federal Case out of it.” more times than I can count. We learned how to get along quite well. I believe that phrase could cure a large amount of the current division in our country even when taken literally.
Problem is, few want to figure things out for themselves as many haven’t any idea how to do it. Self control and individual responsibility have been elective courses over the last 40 or 50 years in parental guidelines. IMO…This figures directly into the current lack of civility.
The “want” of attention, validation, victory, and self pity is mighty high out there and everyone seems eager to listen.
I can’t figure this will change soon.
This figurative post was brought to you by Stream of Consciousness Saturday! Click the following link to find all the other posts in the comment section and join in! It’s fun! https://lindaghill.com/2020/03/06/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-march-7-2020/