“MOOOMMMMM!!!! She took my purse without ASKING!!”
“MOOOOOMMMMMM!!! He won’t help me in the kitchen!!!!”
Or my favorite,
“Mom! Will you please tell him to quit looking at me in that tone of voice?!!!”
Do you struggle with Sibling Rivalry in your home?
Or perhaps your kids really love each other and get along great. They daily serve one another breakfast, fold and put away each other’s clothes, and finish the day singing Kum-Ba-Yah in a circle holding hands?
Yeah, me neither…
Unfortunately, if we want them to have successful adult lives with their siblings, it’s our job as mommas to help them resolve these daily offenses.
If sibling rivalry is not dealt with in the home while they are living with you, there is a really good chance your kids will not be best friends when they leave home.
We tell our kids often that strong families, like strong marriages, do not just ‘happen’.
They take work…HARD work.
Often it comes in the form of long hours and intentional-eyeball-to-eyeball-get-to-the-heart-of-the issue communication.
Then do it all over again the next day.
Kids need help from a wise parent in learning conflict resolution techniques. When there are spats in our home, our family regularly takes time out to resolve it. We have put aside homework, cancelled meetings, and ‘stopped everything’ to work out the issues infecting their relationships.
Sometimes it takes HOURS to get to the root of an issue, but it is always worth it. The Bible gives clear instructions to us on how we are to get along with others.
“Do not seek out for your own interests, but look to the interests of others.” Phil. 2:4
We are commanded to show kindness and gentleness to our brothers and sisters. We are taught in I Cor. 13 that “love is not rude, and it is not self seeking”. As parents we think it is fine to sweep disputes under the rugs of our children’s heart, but when we do, we are complicit in allowing a root of bitterness to spring up in their hearts.
Help them to resolve differences quickly and completely. Their friendships with each other will be strong and their lives richer.
When our kids fight, they will often hear me say,
“Your brother is going to be the one to mow your grass one day when your husband is out of town, or pick you up on the side of the road when your car breaks down! Your sisters will be the ones to watch your toddlers when you bring a new baby home from the hospital and you are in desperate need of a nap. They will be the only ones you can call when you have a sick child who needs a sitter and you are tied up at the DPS!”
Strong families and friendships take work in the early years. Like a garden, these relationships need to be tended, the hard soil needs to be broken up, and the bugs need to be picked out, in order to experience the fruit from a budding relationship in the future.
Dear Moms, lay down that remote control, shut off the Smart phone, and help your kids resolve these offenses. Teach them to confess quickly, take responsibility personally, and forgive always.
They will never forget it.