The 1-1 Parenting Principle has sort of coined the term "Micro-Argument" in the parenthood arena, and it is defined as: Moment-by-moment arguments your child will give you, on a second-by second basis, in an attempt to not listen to you and usurp control over you. Micro-arguments are clearly not good. While they are typically small and seemingly insignificant, they drain you of all your energy and keep you from operating at your peak parenting performance.
What does a micro-argument look like?
So, what do you do? First, realize that your child is arguing with you because they naturally want to test the boundaries of their own freedom and personal autonomy. It's in our nature to want autonomy. That's why The 1-1 Parenting Principle works so well. When you enforce natural consequences with your child by taking your personal restoration time, you are at the same time temporarily shrinking their freedoms while you are enjoying yours. Every second in an argument with you is a minute with limited access to do all the fun things your child wants and needs from you. So, the more you enforce the natural consequences and take your restoration time, the more your child will listen to you and stop the arguments.
Remember, while it might be natural for your child to push the boundaries you've laid out for them, it is vitally important that you define and enforce those boundaries with natural consequences.
Today was a learning experience for me and my twin boys, age 7. The "Make-Up Minutes" aspect of The 1-1 Parenting Principle gave my boys a positive learning experience, and made me proud as a father.
At the beginning of the day, one boy had given me 10 minutes in the past couple days, and his brother had given me 20 minutes. As I am the home teacher during the COVID-19 pandemic, I wanted my boys to learn more than what is given by their teachers. I wanted them to learn to love learning.
After home school was completed, we played a learning game. I wrote words on a whiteboard and the first boy to say the word out loud, I would redeem a minute. By the end of the 15 minute game, one boy had his 15 minutes fully redeemed, and his brother had all but 3 minutes redeemed.
Here's the extra bonus thing that happened next. I started sweeping the floor in our home, and the boy that had 3 minutes left suddenly started sweeping the floor with a hand broom and dustpan. I didn't even ask him to help me! Home school was all done. He had the opportunity to go play, but he stayed and decided to help me. After he was done, I thanked him and showed him as I removed his last few minutes.
He had such as sense of pride in himself, and I mirrored my pride of him. He had such a sense of confidence and the two of us became closer today in our relationship.
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This blog is for providing tips, examples and encouragement to support you as a 1-1 parent.