Judge Judy: Parenting Expert!?!?

At least once a day (really more like once an hour) one of my older two children will come to me, usually in tears, declaring that the other one did something horrific. “Mommy! She bit/hit/pinched/pushed/slapped/shoved/kicked me!”

After this declaration, the accused offender usually appears on the scene to no doubt defend herself. “OH yea, well she bit/hit/pinched/pushed/slapped/shoved/kicked me!!!” And it is during these moments when I channel the best arbitrator and fact-finder of all time: Judge Judy. WWJJD

Here are the most valuable lessons I have learned from Judge Judy as they apply to settling arguments within my house.

  1. Keep emotion out of it! Even when I want to scream at the top of my lungs and pull my own hair out because I cannot stand to negotiate a resolution to one more Barbie fight, I have remember that getting upset is only going to make the problem worse. Like Judge Judy – I need to stay calm and focused. I may toss out a verbal jab or snarky comment here or there – but I keep my emotions in check and my eyes on the prize.
  2. Get the Facts. There is a lot of emotion involved when dealing with little girls and Barbies. A LOT! Especially when feelings are hurt and one of the girls is exhausted from a full day of kindergarten. So, it is my job to get the facts. Forget all the drama and name-calling and just work on getting the who, what, why, when and how!
  3. Hear both sides. I often times think I know how a scenario played out even if I wasn’t a witness. My older one did this, then the younger one did this, and then they ran and found Mommy. But, sometimes I can be surprised at how the events unfolded or the details one child happened to omit from her telling of the story. Just as Judge Judy listens to both the plaintiff and the defendant, so must I.
  4. Always keep bias in mind. First I need to check my own biases. Maybe I want to let the little one win because she is younger and I feel her pain. Or maybe I am favoring my oldest because she is so worn out from school these days. Either way, I need to push these biases aside. And I also need to be aware of the girls’ biases. Of course, neither will tell the complete true story nor implicate themselves, so I need to listen carefully and try to find the truth between both tales.
  5. Render a quick and decisive verdict. Justice must be swift and mighty. There is no room or time for wavering and uncertainty. As soon as the facts are gathered, declare a winner and dole out a punishment. Then be sure that you follow through will whatever consequence you decide. There may be tears, huffing and stomping but if they don’t like it, they will learn to settle their differences without going before the judge!

So, good luck to you as you try to facilitate harmony in your home. And just remember: WWJJD – What Would Judge Judy Do?

Love and Light – Emily 

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