Saturday, April 16, 2016

Sibling Love and War

I'd say my three kids are pretty average when it comes to the amount of time they spend fighting vs. the amount of time they are getting along.  Actually, once they get on a roll of getting along, they can go pretty long stretches of time with no fighting.  So maybe they even get along a little more than the average siblings.  But sometimes...sometimes it seems like they fight, argue and work to search out new ways to be mean to each other constantly.  And it makes me crazy.

I try not to get sucked into the issue but it's so hard not to referee and try to make everything go smoothly again.  It hurts MY feelings when they are mean to each other.  After all, I made that cute, amazing little person, how can you be so rude to him/her???

We talk to our kids a lot about what they mean to each other and tell them that our family sticks together. We will even tell them that we're sad when they are mean to each other because we love them all so much.  Hopefully we are laying the groundwork for a long-term process of learning to love and appreciate each other.

In the meantime, I haven't figured out any great, fool-proof remedies for the bickering, but I at least know enough to savor the sweet moments when they come along.  I have been known to just forget about chores or instrument practice or even homework for a time when I can hear the kids playing some elaborate imaginative game together.

(Now that I think of it, it could be that they are on to me and know just when to start being sweet and kind to each other so that I won't bother them with a list of to-dos.  Do you think?)

These are just a few of the small sweetnesses I've noticed between them lately:
Bekah and Scott always wait for each other before coming out to the car when I pick them up after school.  When I pull into the pick-up lane, I can see through the window if one or the other of them is already out of class and waiting for me.  Even though they can see me, they always wait for the other one to get there before coming out to hop in the car.
Bekah and Scott, as I've mentioned before, are saving for their own orchard this summer.  They've spent a lot of time huddled up together making notes and plans for the orchard.  Plus they worked together awesomely at the chores they did to earn the money.
Yesterday all three were involved in some make-believe game together and I heard Alarik getting scared because the other two were being witches and goblins.  All of a sudden he cried out, "Please stop being mean to me in the game!" and the other two toned it down for him instead of teasing or kicking him out.
Today Scott had a friend over and they were playing basketball.  Little brother wanted to shoot too and usually, especially when a friend was over, Scott might just ignore him or even tell him to go away.  But not today.  Today the two older boys worked together to make sure Alarik got to make a few shots and feel good about himself.

On those trying days when it seems they are all purposely pushing each others buttons, I will remind myself that it's a marathon, not a sprint, and do what I can to foster a strong bond between them all.  After all, my sister still bears the scars I gave her as a child when we were knock-down-drag-out fighting, but now we're BFFs!


  1. presume a lot;)

  2. Ha, ha, ha! Ok, then...we tolerate each other quite nicely. How's that? :)