Watching it now, from a mother’s perspective, I see how conflict is never completely resolved. For example, Marsha and Greg were running for class president. They were fighting loudly over using the phone. Mom and Dad stepped in and asked some questions and came up with a solution. Marsha and Greg were each allowed one half hour of phone usage per day. Everyone was in agreement with this answer.
Before we all start cheering about how wise Mom and Dad are to come up with conflict resolution, look at what happened next. As Marsha and Greg were walking out of the room, they started bickering about another minor detail; Mom and Dad just shook their heads and smiled at each other.
What?! Mom and Dad Brady thought bickering was normal, so that’s what they got. Only when the fussing reached a level that was “too loud” did they step in.
I hope our standards are higher in our own homes. There was no heart change in the above scenario. It is the heart that matters, not just smooth running phone usage. Greg and Marsha had not learned to prefer one another, only to heed Mom and Dad’s rules. Do we see the difference?
Dealing with attitudes, even little attitudes, will pay off in a peaceful home. Replacing selfishness with a heart for others will reduce bickering immensely. Much of this “replacing” is verbal encouragements. Telling children how to respond, how to think about their sibling and then having them do it over again correctly. Repetition is also a key factor. As we guide our children through one situation, then another and then another, the principle will start to stick.
Finally, don’t smile at bad attitudes like the Bradys. Instead, call the children back and readdress what needs working on. This doesn’t have to be long lectures; actually I encourage few words, but clear guidance on how to think and act, then redoing it correctly.