Engaging Each Day with Action Words

Argue.— Like a Four Year Old.

on October 23, 2012

As action words go, this one would not be one of my favorites. I’d prefer a place where everyone is nice and does what I say, oh, and … when I say it.  Ah, back to reality. The truth is — arguments are a part of our everyday worlds sometimes.  Especially in the life of a Mommy, when everyone has an agenda and is focused on making their own things happen.  Little people don’t want to go to bed at a certain time. Some don’t want to eat their vegetables.  Some don’t want to get dressed in the morning or wear a coat. Those things can cause arguments in a Mommy’s day.  And in the very least, a lot of negotiations.

But arguments get a bad name. They don’t always have to be about a conflict.  Unlike our current political circumstances, you don’t have to have an argument in order to prove another person wrong. An argument doesn’t have to be right vs. wrong, black vs. white, red vs. blue.

Some actually enjoy a good argument. They call it a debate. A conversation. Persuasion. I know someone rather close to me who actually thrives in this environment.  He’s quick on his feet and with his thoughts and makes great arguments.  He enjoys it so much that I think it can be a source of frustration when he can’t find someone to argue with.

Arguments can be about making a point. Putting together a logical, rational series of facts or opinions that are, by design, sequenced to persuade.  My four year old put together an argument just this morning that would be the envy of great lawyers everywhere.  It went something like this:

“I would like to see the movie, “Wreck It, Ralph”. It looks funny. It is not sad or scary. It is about a video game and a movie. Ralph was a bad guy, but he doesn’t want to play anymore. It is appropriate for both kids and adults. I should get to see it. It looks fun.”

I’m not making this up.  I was impressed. His argument was rational. It made sense.  The Mom in me was excited that he addressed the issues that he knew I usually draw upon when denying movie-seeing-rights. AND… I have to admit, I love the way his little four year old mouth says the word “appropriate.” I also kind of love that this word is even in his vocabulary…it means he listens to me. Ha!  The teacher in me was excited about the activation of prior knowledge, but…only a few will get that.  There were no personal attacks. He talked in “I  Statements”. There was no judgement. He spoke his truth and was as persuasive as his cute little dimpled face could seriously be. He asked that I watch the commercial with him and even paused the make his point further.

My X knows how to argue. Many could learn from him. Stick to the point. Don’t make it personal. Be persuasive.

Maybe we should all remember how to argue like four year olds.


3 responses to “Argue.— Like a Four Year Old.

  1. Jan says:

    Love it! He has used the same reasoning with his Nana to get an extra dessert!

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