Ty (age 4) speaks very well. His sister, Za (age 2), speaks pretty well. When a fight breaks out, I don't know how to solve it. Ty has one story and Za cannot convey hers completely. I don't think my son is a liar, but I do think young children interpret occurrences from a young child's perspective - which is pretty skewed, just because of minimal experiences. As I allow myself to do every Wednesday, I got to more wondering:
- Do I need to solve their problems? At what line do I stop solving problems? Physical abuse? Verbal abuse? Tears?
- If I do solve their problems, am I smothering them? Scholastic has some decent tips, but I still have different ages. I want to provide opportunities for problem-solving, without minimizing either child's emotions that stem from the situation.
- Am I taking "sides" more with one child more than the other? I don't want to be swayed by Ty's verbal explanation, or by Za's tears. I don't want a traumatic experience that in ten years makes them think I greatly favored another one.
So I wonder this Wednesday, basically, how to parent. This is a simple parenting problem, faced by parents since kids fought over who would sit on which side of the outside fire and who would carry water from the well. Although it is common, I will take advice on encouraging fair play among my children.