Monday, May 18, 2009

If You Cry, You Win

Things I've recently learned:

Conflict Resolution is a misnomer. You don't "resolve" a conflict. Conflicts happen. Things go wrong. People make poor choices. Girl scouts fight over a jump rope.

The point is not that you can "fix" the elements that went into creating a moment of conflicting desires. The point is, once those desires have crashed against each other, what do you do?

So, Cindy brought a jump rope to the picnic. Sally tried to take it away from Cindy. Cindy told Sally to let go. Sally and Cindy ended up pulling on opposite ends of Cindy's jump rope. Cindy told Sally the jump rope might break because Sally wouldn't let go of it. Sally still doesn't let go.

Then Q yelled at Sally to let go, says Sally might break Cindy's jump rope.

Sally and Q end up in a physical altercation.

Q's mommy ends up buying books about Conflict Resolution on Amazon.

Q needs to learn how to cry. The person in tears wins everybody's sympathy. Sally is good at crying. And then pushing Q when nobody's looking. Nobody, except for me. I saw it.

Q was pissed. Q said nobody was helping Cindy, so Q helped her. Q was standing up for a friend in need. Due to tears, Sally was seen as the victim and Q was the bad guy. Q was very angry that she was now the bad guy, when she didn't do anything wrong, she just stood up for a friend.

Mommy is hating girl/youth/group dynamics.

What DID I do, in actuality? I told both girls that they are both nice, sweet girls, that Sally is not mean, and that Q is not mean. I told Q that she is not an adult and is not the one to fix the problem. I told Sally that you don't keep pulling on a jump rope that's not yours. I made them say sorry to each other, which each delivered with an accompanying eye roll.


Mama Dawg said...

I'm so frightened of the up coming years. So far, knock on wood, it hasn't been too bad, but I know the day's coming.

Hyphen Mama said...

It's situations like this one that will be my undoing. I already hate the dynamic of my kids vs other kids at the park. It's not helpful when the other kids' parents dump their kids at the park and go sit on a bench 50 yards away and talk on their cell phone... the whole while their kids and 100 pound dog are terrorizing my kids.

A Lawyer Mom's Musings said...

But I like their early efforts at diplomacy . . . using logic. "Let go of the rope or it will break" would've definitely given me pause. Then again, letting go of the rope could have caused a break, too.

CM said...

Conflict resolution doesn't mean avoiding the conflict. It means figuring out how to handle it.

It sounds like Q tried her best to do the right thing, and somebody took advantage of her. Now the hard part is letting it go and not dwelling on how other people reacted.

Is that possible for kids that age? I don't know. Conflict resolution is about letting go of drama. I would love to think that you can grow up drama-free, but I just don't know. It takes a lot of maturity that I certainly didn't have at that age.

Patois said...

I can't tell you how much I hate the forcing of apologies when I'm doing yard duty. They are so not meant. And, when there's a "victim," he/she shouldn't be made to accept a non-heartfelt one.

teasinglydiverse said...

Oh's true about crying makes people uncomfortable and they cave faster. Still, not the greatest strategy for the rest of life (one of my friends still used crying as a way to get what she wanted her senior year of was awkward).
Also, I gave you an award over at my blog!

Trannyhead said...

Ugh - I hate crying. I think I'm the only person out there who sees a crying person and wants to kick them in the teeth. I know it's awful, but I just can't help myself!