As you will read over at Let Grow today, kids who are “just playing” are learning a ton. They even learn a lot from the part that drives you crazy — the bickering and the “That’s not fair!”s.
Learning to be jerks?
No — they’re learning to get along, believe it or not. This involves wheedling, conniving, compromising, asserting oneself, accepting defeat — all the things you probably had to do at work yesterday. (And possibly again the second you got home.)
There is no substitute for the lessons kids get in play. But since there is also no substitute for sanity, a good way to deal with all the bickering is to absent yourself a bit, so the kids figure things out without constantly appealing to Your Parentship.
Here’s to peace on earth, and in the living room. Both depend on you having some faith in your fellow humans to figure things out.