I think that the need to always be right stems from a lot of different reasons and if we're not careful can be come a habit and an unfortunate trait of character. However, giving up this need to always be right can be an important lesson that may not only mend current and future relationships but can also bring your own mind at ease and bring you peace.
The thing that gets in the way is our ego. For some reason we feel that if we do not prove that we're right and "win" the argument we are less of a person or a weak parent. Of course I'm not saying that we should forget our values and simply approve of everything anyone says or does. That would lead to a weak character and a boring conversationalist, not to mention a very wishy washy parent.
It's tough because pretty much any parenting book is going to tell you that you should never let your kids know what you don't know. Never let them know if you are indecisive, Stand your ground or they will walk all over you, and on and on. It's tough having to pretend like you have all of the answers.
This week the quote on top is going on our fridge. My teenager thinks that he has to argue whether the sky is blue everyday, refuse to eat, and in general just create conflicts to assert that he is indeed becoming an independent young man. In other words, he is trying to "engage" us. My hope for him this week is that he will read the words and chill out a bit with the whole charade.
My husband and I have another task. Our task is to not turn a blind eye to these behaviors, but rather try to really listen to what is going on underneath these actions. I think that what is really underneath these blatant shows of disrespect is a boy crying out for some attention and some guidance on navigating his feelings and insecurities. It's his job to challenge our authority. It is our job to understand this without taking it personally and find ways to teach respect and discipline without losing our cool.
This week, I choose kindness and I will choose to really listen to what my son is trying to tell me, however convoluted it may be. This week I will choose to slow down and listen to what my baby is telling me with his cries. This week I will choose to slow down and be in the moment when my husband is telling me about his day. This week if there is conflict, I will choose to listen and model kindness in order to hear what my family is really trying to say.