Three’s (Not) a Crowd

12 Sep

So, my Mom came to visit this past week, and it’s been so fun having “Tutu” here to help out with the kids and play around Chicago with us.

As my husband if often working, it’s also been fun to have another pair of hands helping out with the kids–and all the crisis management that comes with having three children under the age of 10!

But, the real advantage has been during the hours when my 4 year-old son is home alone while his sisters are in school–it’s those times that the “triangle” (me, Tutu, and my son) is really helpful.images

I remember in graduate school, I was taught that the smallest stable combination of people is a triangle. Not a couple. A triangle. It’s the reason a couple will often have a better chance working out their issues with a therapist than with each other. For whatever reason, that “third” person takes the pressure off the other two and diffuses the conflict.

It’s the same in mediation. The mediator forms a triangle with the other two parties, and, voila! the conflict takes on a new form–a (usually) less hostile form. I’m not sure any psychologist in the world would be able to completely explain the phenomenon, but it’s fairly common. Just remember the last time you were trapped in an awkward conversation with someone you didn’t know very well. Then, a third party joined the conversation, and, for some reason, the conversation started flowing.

So, that’s happening in my house currently–with Tutu here, any conflict between him and myself seems to lessen, if only a little due to the her presence.

Oh, and his ability to run to Tutu when Mommy says “NO!”


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