Monday, March 14, 2005


I think one of the big mom skills is peacemaker.

I hear a crash in the living room. As an experienced mom, I can tell the "rough-housing and someone got hurt" crash instantly from the "I tripped over that Goodwill box" crash. I can also tell from the intensity of the crash if it will be necessary to intervene, time to dig in my box of hats (cook, housecleaner, laundress, plumber, teacher, chauffeur, nurse, confidant, police, diplomat, trade negotiator, humanitarian, peacemaker, etc.) and swoop into the living room to bring peace.

"Mom, he hit me."
"She kicked me."
"He pushed first."
"I needed the computer."
"I was on first."

This of course is a simple "flaming computer time war." Not a problem for families with one child, but our house has a 2 to 1, kid to computer ratio.

So the peacemaker is at work.

Have jobs been performed and homework completed?

This tactic of making people personally accountable for what they need to do right now solves many skirmishes and often results in the dishes being washed or the nasty stuff on the bathroom floor being scraped up.

If personal accountability questions are answerable, we move to advanced peace talks.

How long has the computer been used? What is the computer going to be used for?
Resources are scarce in this world and need to be used wisely. Conservation is the key tool of the peacemaker. Checking ranks over joining an online fight fest. Iming for a school project shoots over iming about who's hot in the lunch room.

If this tactic is not effective, a hardy peacemaker must move to the rights versus priviledges argument. Rights include food, shelter and piano lessons. Priviledges include computer games, mall trips and, yes, computer time.

"But no, Mom!"

If active negotiations break down. Kids stamp out of the room and doors slam all over the house.
The peacemaker makes a cup of hot calming tea and waits for re-negotiation, usually takes about the time it takes to brew a cup of tea and drink it.

Just remember -- blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the sons of God.

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