“Nine times out of ten, an argument ends with each of the contestants more firmly convinced than ever that he is absolutely right. … [Even] if you win [an argument], you lose it. … Suppose you triumph over the other [party] and shoot his argument full of holes … Then what? … You have hurt his pride. He will resent your triumph.” –Dale Carnegie
Any parent whose definition of “maintaining household order” includes arguing with their children should think for a moment. Suppose you lay down the law and enforce “because I said so” and push your kids into grudging “cooperation.” Then what? You’ve “won” the immediate argument. But you’ve also “gained” a buildup of hurt pride and resentment—additional fuel for a worse argument next time a difference of opinion surfaces. Do you really want your kids seeing you as a pigheaded bully?
Assuming you don’t, here are the top 10 things not to do next time opinions clash.
If you already have such habits ingrained, you’ll probably need help getting rid of them. Talk to a trusted friend, a therapist, or even your kids themselves about holding you responsible for implementing better behavior. In any case, admit any such action to your kids, with an apology. Counter-intuitive as it may seem, children become more respectful and cooperative when Mom admits she isn’t always right. No psychologist argues with that fact!
Blessings to parents and children of all ages!