May 24, 2008

Sibling Squabbles

I'm sure most siblings go through it every once in awhile, but it is something that really bothers me...sibling squabbling! It really irritates me. It also signals a problem in the home; something is a little out of sync. When my children start to squabble I have a game plan that I immediately put into action...

1. They will do for the other until they are so used to serving each other that they no longer question, "Why do I have to put his clothes away, clean up his mess, or make her bed?" We have a motto in this house that we stick by: We were put here to serve, not to be served!

2. They will cease outside play dates of any nature until they can treat their siblings with as much patience and compassion as they treat their friends. This is a big one in my book, I have taken them out of Tae Kwon Do, park days, and any other social outing if I see that their friends are becoming more important than their siblings. Our family was created by God and it deserves our respect from each other and toward each other. I have told my children many times that our family is like the meat and potatoes that you need for nourishment; friends are like dessert - sweet additions, but too much isn't good (I also tell them that if in your whole life you have one friend who is like a brother - then you are blessed.)

3. Praying for each other. I make sure that they say a little extra prayer for the sibling or siblings that they are having a hard time getting along with.

4. Work together. We try to work together as a cohesive unit as much as possible. When you work towards a common goal together and you put your heart and sweat into it then in the end you are automatically closer and more cohesive. On Sundays, between services, we go as a family to my father in laws grocery store and dust and restock shelves. We are tired, it is dirty and it isn't always pleasant but it is those next to us who we bond with the most.

5. Spend time relaxing together. We watch movies as a family - not the kids in front of one TV and the parents in front of another. If it isn't good for the kids to watch then it isn't good for me. We go to the zoo or to the museum together - whatever it is we do it together.

Many of these things are implemented all the time but if I see discord in my ranks then numbers 1 - 4 are stepped up a notch. Just thought I would share what works for us in this area. What are your tactics in unifying your troops?

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