My eight year old daughter was sitting next to me on the couch today. I noticed that she was wearing an old watch on her arm. It was silver and obviously too big for her.
Me: Where did you get that?
Me: The watch, where did you get that watch?
Nomi: (continues to play with a toy, doesn’t look up) Miss Linda.
Me: Miss Linda?
Me: (wracking my mind, trying to place this name…a teacher at school? Someone at church? A neighbor?) Who’s Miss Linda?
Nomi: Miss Linda!
Me: Who’s Miss Linda!
Nomi: IT’S MISS LINDA!!!
You would think that at this point in time I would realize that this method of interrogation was not working and I should try a different approach. But, no.
Me: WHO’S MISS LINDA?!?!?!?!?!
Nomi: Mom, it’s Miss Linda.
I stared at her in frustration. Then it clicked. My husband had taken two of his little daughters with him when he did a quick Saturday side job to put up a ceiling fan for Miss Linda, a retired woman he has done work for in the past. It was a chance for him to have some daddy-daughter time and a chance for Miss Linda to spoil some little girls.
Ok. Mystery solved.
Then one of my sons walked in the room, spotted the watch with his laser eyes, and quickly went into attack mode..
Judah: Where did you get that???
Nomi: Miss Linda.
Judah: Who’s Miss Linda?
Nomi: It’s Miss Linda!
I inwardly groaned as I knew I was now going to hear this whole conversation again. But as I watched my daughter I noticed a certain spark in her eye, a smug set to her mouth. She was having fun with this.
What is it about kids loving to create conflict?
MOM! SHE TOUCHED ME!
And on and on and on.
I remember being exactly the same. It wasn’t until I was an older teenager that I started realizing that I didn’t have to react every time my brother pushed my buttons. And I didn’t have to push his buttons every time the opportunity presented itself. I presumed that it’s just part of growing up; learning how to live at peace with people, no longer delighting in sparking conflict.
Enter FaceBook Stage Right.
Don’t get me wrong. I love getting on FaceBook. I love seeing who just got engaged. Adorable baby photos. Who just got a new job. I love reading interesting articles that people post. Beautiful photos of far-off places. FaceBook can be a lot of fun.
Then you have those posts that say, “If you don’t agree with my position, then you are STUPID!” And then someone comments: OH YEAH! WELL, YOU’RE STUPID!
Apparently the need to stir up arguments and be difficult Doesn’t go away when you grow up.
I am not saying there isn’t a place for expressing ideas that differ from others. And I think there is definitely a time to say, I disagree with you, and this is why…I guess what always baffles me is why we can’t have differing opinions or even heated discussions without remaining respectful of each other. It is possible to believe strongly in something, have a desire to share that belief with others, and still not be rude or disrespectful to the people who believe differently than you. In fact, if you remain respectful, you will probably have a much better chance at sharing your beliefs with others.
Just a thought.