How To Stop Arguing With Your Kids

Dear Groovy Mama,
My eight year old son is challenging me on everything. When my husband and I give him the answer – he picks a fight with us. He won’t back off. I’m going crazy and I hate to say this, but I find myself arguing with him. Silly me. I’m arguing with a kid. I’m not winning either. –L.M.


Dear L.M.,
I have a ‘negotiator’ for a son. When he was young, he would try to circumvent everything I told him in an attempt to control the situation. At a certain point, I realized I was arguing with him far too often. And you are absolutely right, no one can win when arguing with young, egocentric humans. It simply leaves you feeling crazy, frustrated, and defeated. But there is good news, my friend! My husband and I found victory over this behavior, and you can too.

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Encouraging Your Introverted Teen

Dear Groovy Mama,
I know my teen is an introvert. How do I push him to engage in activities with others without pushing him too far out of his comfort zone? (Amy)

Dear Amy,

This is an excellent question, one I happen to have intimate experience with. Out of the six people in my family, four of us are seriously introverted. A couple of us also deal with social anxiety. More about that in a moment.

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Teaching Kids To Pray

Dear Groovy Mama,
My 4 year old suddenly won’t participate in our family prayer time. He just wanders off to play and refuses to pray himself. I’m worried that he’s no longer interested in spiritual things. What have I done wrong? –C.L.

Dear C.L.,

First off, let me assure you that you are not doing anything wrong!  In fact, it sounds as though you are doing something very right, modeling prayer time as a family.  Young children don’t understand abstract concepts like faith, prayer, and God.  What they do understand is what they see, and seeing you talk to God, lifting up the needs and requests of others, is a beautiful foundation that the more difficult concepts will build on.

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Hope For Battle Weary Mamas

Dear Groovy Mama,
My seven year old son and six year old daughter are best friends one minute and then the very next minute they are fighting. My son easily gets angry with his sister. She enjoys teasing him and seems to be thrilled with getting her brother upset. It makes my heart sad to hear them call each other names, say mean things to each other, and try to get each other in trouble. I try to let them work it out. I do my best to teach them healthy ways to communicate. I set fair fighting rules. It’s horrible to see this and I am worried that I am not helping them enough. How do I know how much direction they need to work out their problems? It seems like I make matters worse sometimes. I don’t want to take sides. Sometimes I feel like I have to. It’s a confusing mess. –Amber

Dear Amber,

First off, I want to tell you that this is all very normal. Virtually every mom since the dawn of man has had to deal with this sort of sibling conflict. The Jekyll and Hyde nature of children, best buddies one moment, bitterest of enemies the next, can leave us mamas exhausted trying to restore peace, civility, and sanity to our world. You are not alone in this!

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What Did You Just Say?!

Dear Groovy Mama,
What to do when your younger child picks up bad language from an older one? (not my situation but a friend’s) –Ms. P


Dear Ms. P.,

I remember clearly the day my son let fly with a most colorful word of the four letter variety. Hearing that expletive erupt from his sweet young mouth was jarring. Unfortunately, he had picked the word up from a video game my husband was fond of. That particular video game found a new home at the local thrift store.

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How To Manage Mommy Overload

 

Dear Groovy Mama,
How do I not allow myself to feel overwhelmed when I feel like I’m being pulled in 6 directions? I am constantly battling feeling outnumbered and overwhelmed right now. (A.S. in Oregon)

Dear A.S.,
I wish I had a magical set of words that I could utter to make your feeling of overwhelm disappear. The truth is, there is no way to not feel overwhelmed at some stages, particularly when you have littles running around.

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