Middle Muddle

argument-two-girls“Haven’t seen my grandkids for a while,” my neighbor told me. “They’re getting older.  Don’t get to see them as often as I’d like.”

“I know how that is,” I said, thinking about my family at the other side of the world. “Any idea when the next time will be?”

“Tonight,” she smiled.  “As long as Mighty Mouth can keep her mouth shut.”

“Bet you can’t wait! But who’s mighty mouth?”

“Me,” she said, sadly.  “See my daughter’s getting a divorce.  She and my son-in-law both made mistakes.  He did some bad things.  She did, too. Then she had the nerve to call me to complain about him and try to get me to take her side.  Then he called and wanted me to take his.”

“So what’d you do?” I asked, knowing how much she loves her daughter.

“Told them they were both wrong. Told them I wasn’t going to take sides. Only thing is I don’t want to lose my grandkids.”

What can you learn from this?

My neighbor could have let herself be pulled into her daughter’s corner or that of her son-in-law. Either way, she knew she’d be getting herself into a no-win situation. This may sound simplistic but when your kids were young and started fighting, it didn’t make a lot of difference who started it because they were both involved.  Getting in the middle wasn’t a good option was for you then and it still isn’t now that your kids are adults. Giving them a “time out” was a great option for you then and it still is now. It’s all up to you.

So the next time you find yourself agonizing over a family disagreement, remember the grandkids are going to lose out no matter who wins and they’re going to need you even more.

There are 7 takeaways for you to learn about family dynamics, especially when it comes to disagreements or disputes between your adult children:
  1. Members of your family each have their own issues.
  2. You have your own issues.
  3. There’s more than one way to look at a situation.
  4. It’s often hard to tell who’s right and who’s wrong. Don’t let  yourself be caught in the middle. Your side may win or lose.  Either way you lose.
  5. The grandkids are going to lose out no matter who wins and they’re going to need you even  more.
  6. Family is part of who you are.  Life is way too short to lose the connection.
  7. Do what ever it takes no matter what to get your family to love and include you because no one should have to die alone.