A Lesson of Mediation: What to do when the twins don’t agree on the show to watch?
Super Trucks vs Super Wings
Engineers solve problems; that is what we do. We solve problems at work and also at home. But now and then, we are challenged, or we just can’t solve the problems because of constraints – time, resources, etc. Parenting my boys, especially the twins, bring up such challenges. Desi and I are dealing with some wild boys. The twins are two and a half years old, super active, and growing super-fast.
Now, they like to bring me into their imaginary stories. Sembène kicks it off with “the super wings come down.” Then out of nowhere, “there is a fire coming down” so we must warn Pépé, Mémé and everyone else. We must get ready to put it out. And the adventure goes on and on.
Until, apparently, even in an imaginary world, there are arguments. At some point, Sankara decided that the story needed a dinosaur, but Sembène didn’t have that in his script. He wanted to make sure that in a frenzy, cars don’t bump into each other. They work it out, and the story goes on. I played along. It was a lot of fun. Next, they decided that we needed to drive to Pépé and Mémé while singing and repeatedly say ‘Pépé, Mémé,’ 10 to 20 times.
Daniel, The Tiger’s Neighbourhood.
That was a good day. We had a blast. But now and then, my twins give me one of their usual never-ending duels. This time, it was an argument about watching Super Truck or Super Wings. So what do I pick when the twins disagree on what they want to watch?
After a short performance of whining and screaming, I attempted to mediate and keep the peace. However, I soon realized that this was not my problem to solve. So, I decided to move the scuffle to my bedroom and put the iPad right in front of them.
I told them to have a meeting, discuss and let me know the compromise. I hoped this tactic would bring some calm, but it didn’t work! These fools agreed to disagree; they did not want to pick one over the other. So, I asked them to think about it a bit longer, and I decided to watch Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood instead. I was inspired by what politicians often do—not solving the problems but moving them to another topic or location.