Friday, June 10, 2011

Who Blinks First...

He who blinks first, loses.

This is what I learned as a child when facing down a brother or another aggressive boy on the playground. Hold your ground. Invade personal space. Close in for the kill. AND never blink first. 

This is important:  He who blinks first, loses.

courtesy of
The skills honed in the fires of sibling conflict and playground battles have carried me through many rough situations. Okay—not necessarily rough, but definitely confrontational. 

As a young mother, I learned the importance of holding my position on naps (everyone takes one in the afternoon, including me) until my oldest child was almost 9 years old.  Having three stair-step children, I bent over and drew my eyes level with theirs.

 “You will take a nap today. A good long nap.” They blinked. I didn’t. The nap wars fought and won, because I didn’t blink first.

When teaching, the teacher must hold the line on so many discipline issues:  raising the hands to speak, asking permission, respecting another student’s right to exist, etc. Staring down thirty + children requires practice and experience. It must be done with firmness and, most of all, with kindness.

Do you understand???
There was always one student who challenged the blink contest “You will not steal anyone's pencils. Do you understand, mister?”  Blink, blink, “Yes’m.”
That was when all the skills in the first paragraph had to go into the game. The teacher has to win this—the rest of the class has to know that the standards of behavior are listed on the wall for a reason.

When not playing poker for big bucks, or trying to convince a three-year old that he will stay out of the flour canister, blinking is fine. Blink away to your heart’s content. 
In your face.

But, when one absolutely must win a situation, keep those eyes open, piercing into the other eyes with deadly aim, and impose your will.  Good luck, soldier.


  1. I remember doing this when I was younger, and now my son often challenges me to a blinking competition, my eye now usually ends up with something in it or it starts to he thinks he won, but I can hold my breath longer than him, so until he takes his 5ft 11in 15 year old long legs and learns to hold his breath I still win hands down! Thanks for posting, have a blessed weekend. Amandax

  2. Hehehe now that you mention it...

    Thanks for the great tip! I'll be able to hold my own with those kids now.


  3. I should have tried that on my hubby years ago. I have always blinked first because why go into battle after you have lost the war.

  4. HUm, I'm going to try this the next time I get resistance about them cleaning their rooms. Great post! Blessings, Joanne

  5. "He who blinks first." This is epic! I LOVE it :) I will never blink first--ever again :0)

  6. Been a long time since I have had a blinking match :) Lovely post.


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