My kids are pretty decent people and are pleasant most of the time. But there’s this thing they’ve been doing lately that goes something like this:
Phoebe (or Lucy or Julia. Their names are interchangeable in this scenario.) sits quietly enjoying a bowl of popcorn. (Also, you should realize that “bowl of popcorn” could be replaced with ANYTHING. Yesterday, it was a towel.)(And I use the term “enjoying” loosely.)
Lucy sees the popcorn. Lucy wants the popcorn. Lucy takes the popcorn.
Phoebe screams. Phoebe cries. Phoebe assaults Lucy.
I remind the girls that their sisters are reasonable people and suggest that Lucy politely ask Phoebe if she may have some of her popcorn.
Lucy regains her composure and asks, “Phoebe, can I please have some popcorn, too?”
Phoebe turns off the tears and agrees, “Sure! Here ya go.”
Now, if we were in public or with anyone outside of our family, there’d be no taking of the popcorn bowl, screaming, crying or violence. They know, in any other situation, that the right thing to do is use kind words and manners. But at home and to each other? They’re riled up for a fight like guests on The Jerry Springer Show. And we’ve been going through this so often, I could program a robot to step in and handle it for me, which is tempting, because REALLY KIDS? THIS AGAIN!?!
They really are reasonable kids. 90% of the time, when asked, they will willingly share. 100% of the time, when one of them rips something out of the hands of another, something bad happens. They’re smart kids. Why can’t they get those odds?
Do your kids do this? Tell me they do. And if they don’t, tell me about something they do that will make me feel better.