Something amazing dawned on me today as a result of a conversation with my 16 year old daughter. We were having a conversation about a family that we know that is having a rough time right now. There are arguments, disagreements, and fear of the big D, divorce. My daughter is concerned about the family, and about their teenage daughter. How are the current struggles they are going through going to affect her? Other than being supportive for her friend, is there anything that she can do?
My response in the conversation was continue to be supportive. Don’t worry too much about it, just continue to be and do exactly what she is already doing. I also shared that conflict is okay, it can even be healthy (within certain limits). Arguing is okay. It’s healthy because it allows people (married people, dating people, co-habitating people, good friends or family members) to vent and work through issues.
Here it comes, my AHA! Moment!
My daughter doesn’t know that arguing is sometimes and okay thing because there is a distinct lack of arguing in our household. As a single parent with close friends and confidants, but not someone that is around every day to talk about the routine, mundane, bills, taxes, life expectations, satisfaction or dis-satisfaction, we live in a pretty conflict free home. We do have our moments where any one of us, myself, my 16 year old daughter, or 14 year old son may not be thrilled with each other. When that happens we typically retreat to our own corners and get back together after the mood has passed. When we are frustrated, we use our words and talk through the situation. There are rarely raised voices, slamming doors, or other outward signs of dissent.
What a wonderful realization. Imagine growing up in a home where the mood is mellow, fun, friendly and calm. Questions are answered with thoughtful responses. Privileges are the norm because doing the right thing is expected. A consequence system doesn’t have to exist because we each do our part, and we make good choices. When a not so great choice is made we talk through it, and discuss what a better choice could have been. No blame, mind games, or regrets.
What a wonderful world.
& it already exists. Right here. In my world.