Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Sibling Rivalry: Learning to Make Amends and Forgive Early

Who ever thought when I first started a blog back in 2006 that I would find the blogging world to be a source of encouragement, laughter, joy, sadness, empathy, understanding, etc?  Somehow it became a place where people who think alike can find each other and receive encouragement.  In times where we didn't agree, a stretching.  Back when I started the blog I only had 4 kids and was not planning to have any more and was listening to everyone that said to stop.  The stretching came when I read blogs about large families and I wasn't sure I agreed with them.  I realized that I was just giving others the steering wheel in my life rather than God.  With you guys, I felt like somehow we've created a cyberspace invisible link where we can give strength to each other when needed.  Does that make sense?

The girls are so excited about Juliet getting closer to coming.  I'm 31 weeks now and even though she is pretty mild, the kids are finally being able to feel her kick.  She has no where to hide now, she's running out of space.  Ivy tonight was so excited to finally feel Juliet kicking her hand.  Ashley (4) came up to me the other day with toilet paper and asked if she could wipe Juliet's little butt.  I told her she had to wait till Juliet came out.  I assured the girls I would let them learn how to care for her. It's their turn now because my last baby was a boy and the boys wanted to be the one to learn with him. Ashley reminds me every day that she will change Juliet's butt though and doesn't want me to forget it.  LOL.  

Anyhow, I've been really working with my kids on the matter of getting along.  I know it's soooo normal to have some sibling rivalry and it's going to happen.  However, I CAN teach them how to handle an argument and make up properly.  I get so sad seeing families grow up and kids go their separate ways.  Grown adults that can't get along is just sad.  It happens though and I see it all the time.  I asked myself, "How can I at least teach them to handle a problem and get over it?"  Ivy has a best friend who she really loves.  There were times they'd be together and both would turn on Ashley.  This was not okay at all.  I don't care if Ivy is just showing off with her friend, it's not acceptable.  Finally I took Ivy aside and told her that she will no longer have friends over till she's not only mended her relationship with her sister but that she learns that sibling relationships are important.  I told her that Ashley is not only her sister but her best friend.  They are only two years apart and should be able to work things out.  I said, "Kerrie may be your best friend but your sister Ashley is your best, best friend."  I really kept off any friends that wanted to visit her for a bit till Ivy started learning to enjoy her sister and work out fights.  When they do fight I have them come to me, face each other and hold hands, to say sorry, I love you, you are my best, best friend and say they forgive each other.  If that doesn't work I find some way to make it a little bit silly to they get in a better mood and really do work it out.  Often they are hugging after it all and run back to where they were hand in hand.  Can I do that when they are older? Well, not so much but I want them to have the idea of quick forgiveness and moving on when they are little.  Now, Ivy has surprised me by telling me that she loves her friend Kerrie but Ashley is her best, best friend.  She tells me she enjoys her company and they have definitely gotten a lot closer.  Since they have worked this out I've allowed her friend to come over more often.  Now they all 3 play together really well.  ;)  I know some people just let their kids hash it out, slam doors, and talk about each other on the phone to their friends.  The problem with that is they are learning nothing about working it out and it's sad.  The problem needs to be worked out before the sun goes down.
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