Can you tell by this picture what is happening in our house lately??? I went to the library and on Monday and this is what I came home with!
Bickering between the kids is always more of a problem in the Summer. Or at least it seems that way with everyone being home and constantly with each other. There is not a lot of time apart or alone. Plus, when you add in boredom or tired from a long day of fun... Ugh!
Besides all those circumstances, I still have noticed that the kids seem to have gotten worse about getting along. After "studying" the situation for awhile, I see a few things that seem to contribute.
- The kids are getting older and therefore want to make sure they are being heard as an individual.
- Also, with getting older come a lot of opinions.
- Hormones are starting to be a factor.
- Patience is not a virtue in this house.
- They do not respect their siblings as an individual.
The last point is probably the biggest problem. When you don't respect someone it is a downward spiral. They don't value others opinions, their property, their feelings, etc.
I know all of this is so hard to believe when you look at these sweet faces, right??? Pshh
So I have done a lot of praying and seeking advice. And now I'm reading. **An important side note in reading, especially about something so personal. Make sure you already have a strong foundation before you start reading. It is easy to be swayed into someone else thinking.
I already knew that we needed 2 things: To do something that would bring unity & to create respect for each other.
So far these books are exactly what I was looking for... I read the beginning of one that was advising the parents to stay out of it so the children could learn to get thicker skin, stick up for themselves both verbally and physically and never take sides in saying a child is wrong in their behavior toward their sibling. Hmmm... Sounds like I would be a lazy parent creating a narcissistic bully?!? No thanks! That's exactly why you need to be prepared before you find information.
Here are a few things that I am going to try to implement:
- Family Meetings - probably weekly or biweekly
- Family Rules - write these up during the first meeting
- Weekly Bible Verse - pick a verse to talk about throughout the week
- Do at least one family activity that we are all involved in - play a game, do a project, go for a walk, etc.
- Create meaningful conversations during meals
- Try new discipline techniques - this will be the most difficult
The one thing that I realize is that these are all things that will create a lot of work for my husband and I! But that is part of being a parent. It takes work!
I also know that my children will still fight despite the changes we make. But I believe that it can get better than what we have now.
I have been telling myself that this is normal and it will work itself out. But I don't believe that's the case. I believe that we will all just grin and bare it until it's over. And that's not what I want for my home. I want better.
I'll keep you updated on our progress! Care to share any of your own tips for stopping sibling fighting???