On Thursdays I post from the vault. This post is from September 2008.

My kids are getting to an age where they are both fighting an awful lot. They fight over toys, over sippy cups, over chairs . . . you name it. India is just about to turn 2, and many times the fights are just completely illogical. For example: India was claiming that Jafta’s blue blanket was hers (which she knows to be untrue and yet seems to enjoy the drama). Jafta, in his 3-year-old need for justice, argued just as vehemently that the blanket was, indeed, his own. This repeats itself, with various substitutions of content, all day, every day.

In an effort to quell the nonsensical fighting, I figured that Jafta, being eldest, was the more logical of the two. I decided to try to teach him the concept of “agreeing to disagree”. I spent some intentional time with him talking about the fighting, and explaining that perhaps he could just end the fight by saying “we agree to disagree”. I explained how this meant that he didn’t agree with her, but he wasn’t going to argue. We even practiced it a few times. Jafta kept saying it wrong (we agree to agree), but whatever. He got the concept. I thought.

So here is how the next episode went:

India puts Jafta’s shoes on her feet)

Jafta: India, those are MY shoes!

India: They’re mine! India’s shoes.

Jafta: We agree to agree, India.

India: They’re MINE!

Jafta: WE AGREE TO AGREE, INDIA!

India: They’re MINE!

Jafta: (now screaming) WE AGREE TO AGREE, INDIA!!!

India: They’re MINE!

Jafta: WE AGREE TO AGREE! DO YOU HEAR ME?!?! WE AGREE TO AGREE!

lather. rinse. repeat.

So, yeah. There you have it. The family therapist explains conflict resolution for you. Bet you can’t wait to try this one at home.

You’re welcome.