Hey, Parents –
You guys are heroes. You are involved in the greatest work of your life and your kids are so blessed to have you as their mom and dad. I mean it!
I’m not sure about you, but sometimes it seems like my children’s favorite words to each other are things like, “Stop it!”, “That’s mine!” or “NO!”
How many times have we heard this?
If you are anything like me, those words (at times) can almost become like background noise and are easy to ignore. We can tend to think to ourselves, “They’ll work it out.” or “At least they’re not crying.” or “They’re just kids.”
All that to say (like me), I know you want your children to get along with one another and to one day grow into loving adults who care for one each other.
We have a couple of sayings in my house that seem to help a little with this “all-too- familiar” conflict.
- “Your family is your best friend.”
- “If you can’t play with each other nicely, then you can’t play with other friends.”
- “Your closest neighbor is your brother and sister.”
- “Older brothers and sisters protect, NOT pester.”
I know it seems silly, but over time, it starts to work into their little minds and hearts.
The desire for my kids to love and care for one another as they grow is not something that “just comes” naturally or easily. It takes work, practice, time, and prayer.
Against my tired flesh, it takes me being willing to stand up (again) and calling those little warriors out of that war zone and into peace.
I’ll say, “God calls us to speak kindly to one another and to care for one another. Let’s try it again. How should we talk to each other?”
When the oldest child says, “But he’s too small and doesn’t play what I want to play!” then I have to say again, “Then play what HE wants to play.”
It takes me telling my daughter to play “bad guy” with him and likewise, telling my son to “play baby” with her.
It takes us sitting down as a family to “practice” kind speech. Talking about what the “right” and “wrong” way to speak to one another looks like.
Parents, don’t give into the “all-too-easy” desire to let “your kids work it out.” There is a time for that, no doubt. But, in the younger years especially, you need to jump in there. Be willing to stand as a reminder to them, that there is a circle of blessing God invites them to walk in.
Remind them again and again that they were born (out of all the people in the whole world) into YOUR family. That is truly something to fight for and rejoice in.
Next time you hear your little people scream at one another… take a breath, smile, and bring them into peace.
In the war zone with you,