Why we need argumentative children

Why we need argumentative children

Sample this conversation here:

H: May I sleep in your room today?
Me: Why?
H: Because I get the best sleep there.
(The real reason is perhaps because his room is messy and he’s too lazy to clear it).
Me: Nope, you’re thirteen and you need to learn to be independent.
H: But mama India got independence after hundreds of years, I am just thirteen!

That was kind of funny, I know. However two words that top my list of most-detested-words are ‘But mama..’. I deal with them day in and day out, a million times a day. They have driven me to distraction, they have led to long arguments and missed buses. My personal Utopia would be a place where those two words didn’t exist.

Imagine for a moment, that did happen, that children stopped arguing with us. Imagine they ALWAYS did EXACTLY as we told them to.



Life would be peaceful.
There would be no dissonance.
There would be no tantrums, no whining, no arguments.
And so, things would move faster and we’d probably get way more done. We’d be more productive.


However, also, consider this:

Children would never learn to reason and think and make decisions.
Their mental capacities would lie in a limbo from disuse.
They’d grow up into adults with no minds of their own.
Things would perhaps never change because each generation would be a replica of the previous one.
There’d be no progress.
We’d probably still be hunter gatherers.

Puts things in perspective, doesn’t it? I mean arguing with your children sounds infinitely better than spending your life wearing leaves and living in deep dark caves crawling with all kinds of undesirable life forms, right?

Jokes aside, as a mom I hate the thought of my children not making their own decisions and taking over the course of their lives at some point. It is staggeringly frightening to think that I would always and forever be completely and wholly responsible for everything that’s right or wrong in their lives. That’s not how it should be.

Children argue because they have the capacity to think.
They argue because they do not want to follow rules blindly.
They argue because they want to try new things, new ways.
They argue because they think differently from you.

And that’s a blessing.

Be grateful.


Linking up with Mel for Microblog Mondays after a long time.

20 Replies to “Why we need argumentative children”

  1. I agree with you completely. Children need to think for themselves, talk it out with their parents and make informed decisions. They want to know the logic behind your statements and they love to present their POV. A house where everyone puts forward their thoughts freely is a happy home 🙂

  2. True, life would be peaceful without any arguments. But having argumentative kids means that they are thinking individuals and have a point of view that’s different from ours!!
    Shilpa Garg recently put up this amazing post…My Anti-Bucket ListMy Profile

  3. Life would be so boring without arguments between kids and adults! These arguments, as annoying as they are, add the tadka to our roz ki boring zindagi, right? 🙂

    1. That’s there. And you’re right. Somedays when you’re in the right frame of mind they’re fun too. But somedays it can really get to you and that’s when you need to remember that in the larger perspective it is perhaps not a bad thing.

  4. Ah, now that’s a great way to look at things! I am not a parent yet but I love reading all these anecdotes on your blog 🙂
    P.S: You may want to add your twitter handle to the share buttons 🙂

    1. Well one has to make the best of what one has.

      Thanks for the heads up about the twitter button. I thought it was already there. I’ll Shall check again.

  5. Oh that reply had me rolling Tulika – how ever do you manage to get angry or rebuke them when they are out of line? And what maturity in a mom to have such a wonderful like of thinking. Far far removed from the strict regimented parents of my time and I salute you for it – you have two very lucky kids!!!! 🙂

    1. Oh I’m not always mature Shalz. There are days when we’re pressed for time and they come up with arguments like this one and it drives you completely crazy. I do blow up too and use the ‘I said so, that’s why’ card. Which is why in my saner moments I need to make myself understand that it’s okay.

  6. I completely agree with you, Tulika. As much as it would be easier to have kids who would nod and agree with everything you say, it is better when they have a mind of their own. We certainly don’t want a version of ourselves in our kids. But we also don’t want them to argue or disagree for the sake of it. So yes there are times when I want them to follow what I tell them and at other times it is okay that they argue.

    1. Yes – it’s the balance that’s hard. When they start questioning everything it’s maddening. Sometimes they need to follow rules without analysing them too much and needed explanations all the time.

  7. Absolutely agree with you, Tulika. I would hate to see my children as my exact replica doing everything I did and tell them to do and having no one else to blame for the mess in my home. 😀 We need thinking, reasoning little humans. They offer a different perspective. My elder one was/is a questioner. I’m waiting to see the little one’s questions and reasons. 🙂
    Vinitha recently put up this amazing post…Some Blogging Fun #MondayMusingsMy Profile

    1. Oh good luck with the younger one. Questioners are exhausting but I do hope they never lose the questioning streak. That’s what keeps their brains ticking.

  8. I SO agree with this. As much as I detest the ‘arguing’ I can’t help but secretly feel proud that she stands up for herself. It’s of course very annoying when you’re at the receiving end 😉

    Also, H is too cute. What dramatics. Reminds me of Gy and her ‘independence day’ reference when she was younger. I asked her to finish her meal quickly and she replied with, ‘Tomorrow is Independence day. At least tomorrow, can I please have the freedom to eat slowly?’ 😛

    1. Ha ha.. These kids are too smart for their own good.
      I hate arguments too. They’re so energy-sapping. I have to keep reminding myself that it’s okay. And that in the larger scheme of things it isn’t a bad way to be.

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