Stuck in the middle

It seems as a dad I am often in the midst of conflict between one or more of my four boys. I’m not refereeing a contest but rather negotiating a truce or facilitating the previously agreed peace plan!

Learning how to effectively manage being stuck in the middle is a key aspect of fatherhood. If I bring my impatience to the conflict then I only reinforce the behaviours my boys are probably exhibiting. If I bring a reactionary negativity then I am not empowering my boys to problem-solve.

As well as managing our role in the middle, it is important for us fathers to be mindful of when we need to step in and when we need to quietly observe from the sidelines. There have been many times when my boys have worked out their disagreements themselves and continued playing. There have also been many times when parental intervention was necessary!

Learning to distinguish between these very different scenarios will create more proud parenting moments as we witness our children successfully resolving conflict. It will also reduce the risk of us parents being seen as interfering!

Let’s use our time in the middle well.


Photo: Royalty free image purchased via 123RF Stock Photos

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