"Mason...Did you brush your teeth tonight?"  I asked my son last night.  "Why?  I already did it this morning."  He replied.  I then asked,  "Did you brush your teeth this morning?"   "Why?"  He asked again...We go through this routine several times a week.  It's not really "arguing"...He says he just likes to give me a hard time...If that's the case..then why does he NOT brush his teeth sometimes?  Ugh?  Why do I have to ask?  It's like he's 13 and we have little games of bickering...Or maybe he's just testing the waters.

The thing we need to realize is that last remark...HE  IS THIRTEEN.   Kids are wired to argue, and it's actually a healthy phase of development.  If a child asks why he should make his bed if he's just going to get back in it later anyway, shows that he is thinking of himself in a new way.  Kids are going to disagree, question authority, and push boundaries...It's how we all grow up.

So how do you deal with this phase?  In all reality, not making your bed, isn't a crime.  So after reading articles about what issues are big enough to battle over, one suggestion I read said you should write down all of the things you nag your kids about.  Then try  to just pick a couple that REALLY REALLY need to be worked on, rather than nagging them all day.  They stop listening after the first or second nagging comment.

Now...there does need to be consequences of some kind, but you shouldn't specifiy what they might be.  The smart child will figure out if they'd rather do the crime and suffer your lame consequence..BUT...If they don't know the consequence, there's a little more reason to listen for fear of losing something that might matter more than the arguement.

Regardless...If your kids are teens and they are arguing, be thankful. It's a normal part of growing up...REMEMBER!!   :-)