Hostage Drama Negotiation ….

Last night I stopped to grab some groceries.  I also decided to try some McCain Bobotie (ready made meals) and paired it with a Robertson Chenin Blanc, and some other odds and sods.

By the time I got back to the car – the kids were as close to killing each other as two kids could get if they keep their seat belts on and remained in their relevant seats.

Connor wanted a magazine that Georgia had lying next to her (she was not reading it you understand, it was just lying next to her).

Georgia said no.  Connor begged.  Georgia said no. A fight ensued and then Connor took Georgia’s soccer ball to hold as hostage until Georgia released the magazine.

So Georgia is screaming for Connor to give her soccer ball back – screaming accompanied by crying, snot and tears, to which Connor is saying: “No, because you won’t give me the magazine.  If you give me the magazine I will give your ball back …. Will you give me the magazine?”

To which Georgia replies: “No, give my ball back ………” and well then Connor goes: “No, because you won’t give me the magazine.  If you give me the magazine I will give your ball back …. Will you give me the magazine?” and then Georgia replies: “No, give my ball back ………” and that is pretty much how this conversation/argument/sibling love-in was going when I got to the car.

Threw groceries in the boot – quickly assessed the situation.

Gave Georgia her ball back, took the magazine and gave it to Connor (it was actually MY magazine) and then Georgia started screaming that it was her magazine and now I must give the magazine back.

I tried to reassure her/scream some sense in to her, that actually it was MY magazine.  Odds are she might have another one (Cape Town Child Magazine, we have several lying around the house) that looked exactly the same, but was at home.

This was MINE and I was giving it to Connor to read. (He actually did to even want to read it, he really just wanted to have it because she had it.)

Then I lectured Connor that because Georgia was doing something wrong (not giving him the magazine) did not warrant him doing something wrong as pay-back (taking her soccer ball.)

I tried to get him to see that him doing something wrong, did not miraculously make her give the magazine to him.  All it did was make her scream and get more angry.

So his choice of action did not improve the situation, it only made it worse, and now he was also in the wrong because of what he had done.

Of course he was going to give me the “But mommmmyyyyy …….” defense, which I listened to and reverted back to the point that him taking the ball was also wrong and could he understand that his wrong action, did not fix her wrong action (refusing to give him the magazine.)

He did finally acknowledge that I was right. He did not actually acknowledge he was wrong, but he let it go at that point.

The thing that got me thinking was that as parents if we are not able to guide our kids correctly in decision making and dealing with “highly emotional” issues we end up creating an entire generation that thinks WWF wrestling is a perfectly acceptable method of problem solving.

There are several boys at Connor’s school that physically fight when an issue becomes too difficult for them to deal with, or they find a classmate disagrees with them.

Actually there are several kids (boys and girls) at Georgia school who have no qualms about the odd “strangling” or biting and kicking and slapping action to resolve a dispute.

There is value in trying to appear like a reasonable adult when your kids are around.  When they are in bed, you can continue to cuss at the cat for sitting on your monitor and obstructing your view of the latest You Tube video.

Just so you see the balance: I get the kids out of the car at home, reach in to the boot to grab the shopping bags while trying to herd them to get their bags and shoes.  Shopping bag falls over, and the milk, the chocolate spread, the stupid caremello bears do not fall out of the bag, only my 750ml of happiness fall out and breaks on the garage floor.

Let’s say I did not deal with that disappointment in a very reasonable adult manner.

Odds are it might have cancelled out my earlier rational stance on dealing with life.