Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Six Tips for Sibling Rivalry I Have Learned as a Mom of Many

Dwelling together in unity month is half way over and I am just sitting down to write the first piece I have for the blog.  I was stricken down with a nasty cold virus as I alluded to in my last post that still hasn't left me.  While I was sickly and bed ridden, the kids all got along swell!  No, really, they did and it was great and peaceful for much of the time.  Did we arrive here overnight?  Nope!  It has taken some time to cultivate peace in our family, but I have learned some things over the years that I have decided to share today.

Sibling rivalry doesn't have to be a thing in your household!  Here are six tips I want to share with you on how to curtail it.

Cultivate friendship among the children.  When they try to bicker or argue I have two things that I always tell them and then make them stop and move on.  The first thing I remind them of is, "we will always be a family, you must get along together..."  And also, "friends come and go but you'll always have your family/brothers/sisters..."  This makes them understand that one of the greatest relationships in their lives are that of those which they live with and sets them up for success in the future!  I will pair them up for special things, set teams to play games together during playtime, and other things to cultivate the sibling relationships that do not seem to be naturally occurring. I admit, there are sometimes two that do seem to get on each others nerves and sometimes rub each other the wrong way, so those get extra time to do things together. 

Make and concentrated effort to build sibling relationships over nearly any other earthly relationship, in the earlier years especially.  Friends are fine to have but family should and often is the very first best friend you make!  Do things together as a family within other groups.  Invite other families over to spend times together.  Teach them never to treat strangers better than their own family as often the case.  All should be treated equally as well! 

If fighting and bickering ever occurs, reprimand BOTH parties!  Don't let one play the victim!  One is always apt to do this, in every family!  Don't allow it.  Then require both of them to ask forgiveness for their actions.  I don't play referee, I tend to become a peacemaker instead!

Teach peace.  Be an example of a peaceable person.  Remember that what comes out of your mouth is a reflection of your heart.  If you want a peaceful home, make sure you are the first to step towards that peace!  Of course, we all have bad days, but make sure, sure, sure that your good days are far more than your bad!

Memorize, use and talk about scripture on this issue.  Memorize ahead of time and remind them of what is said.  Little children are fully capable of memorizing large portions of scripture!  
  • Romans 12:18 -   If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.
  • Philipians 2:3-4 -  Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.  Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.
  • Matthew 7:12 -  Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.  (This is also known as the "Golden Rule" and ever little person should be taught to know this!)
  • Galatians 6:7 -  Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
  • Matthew 22:39 -  And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

Read and discuss stories in the Bible of examples of sibling rivalry and their consequences!
Cain and Abel,  Issac and Ishmael - We are still feeling the consequence of this to this very day!  Joseph and his brothers, the Prodigal son, Jacob and Esau.

I have used these same ways over the past three decades of parenting and I will continue to use them right along with you!  I am more of the persuasion to make less work, you work on things proactively instead of reactively!  Work on this before it is needed!

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