So I had an odd phone call the other day. TB wanted to come home because he felt terrible but he said right away that he wasn’t sick. Instead he had had an argument with a good friend and it didn’t get sorted and he didn’t know what to do.
Maybe I did the wrong thing, but I went to pick him up and let him come home for the afternoon. That’s not the letting him down part, though, that came way before.
See, I don’t often argue. Not with my husband, not with my friends, not with my family.
That doesn’t mean I’m a pushover (I mean, seriously, are you new?), I have strong opinions, and I disagree with people, but I usually let things settle a bit before confronting people. Or I figure out a way to get what I want while avoiding the confrontation.
That doesn’t mean I am all zen and wise and in control of my emotions, it means I have a fairly agreeable nature, and a group of fairly agreeable friends, and when we disagree we usually hash it out at a low volume.
But that’s where I’m letting the kid down. He rarely hears an argument, and because he’s 8 and remarkably adept at tuning out grown-up voices, he doesn’t register the disagreements that go on around him. Not that I want him to be surrounded by yelling, but how will he know that it is safe to disagree, and even to disagree loudly, if he never sees/hears that happen and never gets to witness it being resolved.
Clearly, I am not going to take up tearing a strip off my friends so he can learn how to argue, but there has to be another way of modelling that experience for him.
Now I just have to figure that out. Damn it.