I started writing this post yesterday, until I realised that it’s a Sunday and that means it was time for my weekly review.
Yesterday, I had an argument with my 3-year old daughter. I had to take care of both my kids, my 3-year old daughter and my 2-month old son. When I finally had my son asleep on my arm after a lot of walking and rocking around, my daughter started slamming doors and shouting around. I told her to please stop, but she wouldn’t listen.
Later that day, the same happened again when I tried to put my son to sleep.
After those two incidents and taking care of both kids for most of the day I was a bit exhausted and mentioned that to my wife. It felt like she didn’t care about it at that moment and blamed me for “always being tired”.
Now, perspective is very important in life.
In my perspective, my daughter was causing a lot of trouble for me right there. It took me a long time to get her brother to sleep just to get him woken up by her a few minutes later.
And my wife went shopping and had a massage while I struggled with two screaming kids at home. Clearly I expected more support when I told her that I was exhausted.
Now…what about their perspectives?
My daughter had to give in to her brother’s needs all day long. All she wanted all day long was daddy to play with her, build train tracks and read books. Because I had to cook, tidy up and look after her brother I had hardly any chances to do the things she wanted me to do. From her perspective it was all about everyone else but nothing about her that day. Obviously she needed to let off some steam.
And my wife?
Well, I just came back from a 3-day trip to Barcelona on Friday afternoon. She had to take care of both kids all by herself for 3 days. Clearly she more than deserved some time off to relax and be by herself.
In the end, it all worked out.
Me being aware of these different perspectives helped a lot to not create any additional arguments and I was quickly able to de-escalate the situations before it got worse.
Next time there is an argument brewing up, try to put yourself into the other person’s perspective and see how they are feeling about the situation. Chances are that they have a completely different (and equally valid) view on the situation.