You'd think with five kids I'd learn this earlier...
Today my 11 and 9-year-olds were doing a project together. They were arguing, as usual, as it was a creative endeavor and they rarely agree on how things should go.
Typically, I bemoan the fact that they are "too old for this," that they are "acting like toddlers" - I say this in my head, and try (and fail sometimes) to be a little more tactful out loud. But still I am grumbling internally that they should know this stuff by now and it sets me on edge.
But today it hit me: OK, they *don't* truly get this stuff yet. If they *did*, they would act better. So I kindly gave them instructions on one good way to share the task, and they seemed truly grateful! The rest of the project proceeded relatively peacefully from there.
So my epiphany was: meet them where they are. Even if you think it's years behind where they should be! LOL Nothing will be gained from scolding.