Little Fayoumis is an alpha-in-training, raised by an Alpha mother, and marxdarx is a former omega who's now the mate of an Alpha and is trying to be a mate that is worthy of an Alpha.
And I've noticed that there's a subtle spin on many of the problematic interactions.
Little Fayoumis, I've found, reacts best to corrective lessons in the form of "so you will be right".
Alphas are apt to give corrective lessons in the form "Because I'm right."
When two Alphas get into a "I'm more right than you are" battle, it lasts as long as they both have strength, because they have both set up their battle camps, and the battle lasts until one of them finally loses face and submits. Neither of them can afford to submit. It can go on for years, I would guess.
I'm accustomed to being the top beta under the Alpha. Was I born and early-raised Alpha? Oh, yes. Somewhere in there, though, sometime between the all-night screaming match between me and FatherSir (I can't have been more than four; we were in the cabin, and I was in my bed by the window and he didn't come and tuck me in and he said he wouldn't, and I swore I would make a big noisy fuss until he did, and he swore he still wouldn't, and I think I finally must have passed out from exhaustion around three or four in the morning) and when swallowtayle's plans were automatically the ones that would get done, somewhere in there I gave up. I suppose having the leadership and the temper in one package for two generations was enough; I got the temper and swallowtayle got the leadership. I became the invisible-like-air Second to a (short) succession of powerful men. I learned manipulation, guile, and submission. Oh, did I learn submission.
(Note: explore the conceit of a split elemental nature and the multiples thing. Marah says she's Water.)
At the end of it, I learned how to stand up and submit gracefully because I willed it so, and dominate when I had to, because I willed it so. You don't get in the crossfire when votania and I are at odds. You just don't.
Somehow, I don't know how, I managed to make it so that the Little Fayoumis does things when I tell him to. I guess I try not to make him go all defensive, mostly out of enlightened self-interest, because I think he's a whiny little brat when he does that and he reminds me entirely too much of myself. So when I do get him to do things, it's with minimal force, and effective force. And sometimes we get the crying fits and the tantrums and all that other unhappy stuff, but relatively rarely...
I guess I've gotten, with him, to the point where I don't even have to say You will do it because I say you will, I just look at him, and he does. And I guess I avoid saying "Go to the corner until you stop being bad" and instead say "Go to the corner until you can start being good."