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The Rules of Parenting, 2nd Edition by Richard Templar

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RULE 60

Teach them to sort out their own arguments

You had an easy time of it with the last Rule. Nothing to do but sit back and relax. This one is a bit more difficult, but it’s an essential follow-on to Rule 59.

Once you accept that squabbling is a necessary evil – part of learning to compromise and co-operate – you also have to accept that it won’t work unless you leave the kids to get on with it. Otherwise they’ve learnt nothing, except that if they shout loud enough, or hit hard enough, a grown-up will come and sort it out for them. They’re going to be very disappointed when they leave home and no grown-up magically appears to settle all their disputes.

Sadly, a lot of children do grow up like this. I went on a training course many years ...

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