Compromise is the fine art of giving a little and getting a little back. Many are poorly versed in this skill. We are working hard to ensure that we model this art as parents, and teach it to our children. This is a hard won task.
Yesterday, I facilitated a conversation between our two oldest, Rory and Will. Will wants Rory to still play with him and the other two as she did when they were all younger. Rory is nearing 13, and less interested in children's games and activities. Truly, none of them have ever been terribly into childish pastimes. However, they have had several elaborate games they created and played together faithfully when they were younger. These are things Will and Mack would like to continue. But between school, violin, farm work, household chores, her book with one friend, and her small business with another friend, Rory is feeling enough pressure to be what everyone else needs rather than what she wants for herself.
I helped Rory and Will come to an agreement that would allow more time and specific expectations for them to spend quality time together, but not interfere with Rory's other needs. The conversation itself took over an hour. Then, as expected, when enacted today, there was another argument. I got to help sort through feelings and needs again.
Each time we help our children through these heavy chats, we reinforce how to talk to each other about big things. And small things. We set them up to have this skill ingrained in their beings when they gain adulthood, and must converse with those who may or may not have this skill. Teaching them now to hear, and not personalize, others' feelings will help them have successful relationships as adults.
Afterall, our goal as parents to raise children who will be successful adults.