“Get out of my room!” “Mo – ommm! She’s bothering me!”
I’m reminded of Bill Cosby’s routine, “…down came the informer.” Do you have one of those? We do and I have to admit the information has saved us from disaster a few times. But I also find myself, like Cosby’s wife, sometimes talking to the ceiling. “Do I have to come up there?”
Oh well. Shrug. Sheesh. Siblings! The world would have us believe it is normal for brothers and sisters not to get along. Sibling rivalry is a prerequisite for family life. No way can brothers and sisters be best friends. Are you kidding?
Does that mean parents should just give up? Sigh a heavy sigh and ignore the ugliness because it is normal?
Don’t buy into the lie. Do not lower your standards to match the world’s.
Why not? Because God made families. He designed them. God wants brothers and sisters to be best friends. Remember that we are to be in the world but not of the world. So how in the world is that possible?
Some habits from the archives and from around the web:
1. Making Brothers and Sisters Best Friends?
“Behold how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!” Psalm133:1
Parents must set the standards. Fight the good fight for your family. Making Brothers and Sisters Best Friends helps us hit the problem at the source. Allows siblings to see each other in Christ’s love. To become best friends.
Kim linked to this a while ago on littlesanctuary: Help! There’s a bully in my house by Spunky Homeschool. I adore practical and the bathroom is also our work-it-out room. Otherwise, I’d lose my mind playing referee.
2. ATTACH meetings for siblings – “ATTACH stands for Advancing Together Toward Accountability, Christ-likeness, and Harmony. We recommend that older siblings invite their younger siblings to join them for a special snack and one-one-one time.”
3. Sibling Sleepovers – “The curly-haired, stuffed dog is tucked under her arm. She opens the linen closet door a crack. Out roll two sleeping bags. With her favorite quilt making a train behind her, she has all she needs for the weekly sleepover. A sibling sleepover.”
4. The Habit of Running Well “The saints that have gone before us are rising from their stadium seats, waving their fists in the air and cheering you on. Lay those thoughts that entangle you aside and finish the race.”
5. Habit of Kindness – the standard for speech – “is it kind? is it necessary?”
6. Divide and Conquer – “My oldest boys are 17 months apart. Most of the time it is an enormous blessing to have them so close. But there are some times when their closeness begins to wear on us all. Whether they are plotting mischief, scuffling over a toy, or just not getting along… there are occasions when it becomes clear that they need some time apart.”
7. The Child Training Bible – The Bible is, of course, the best resource. The Child Training Bible helps with topics by tab. Verses at the ready.
8. Power of a Praying Parent by Stormie O’Martian. Prayers for parents to pray for brothers and sisters.
“…Help them to love, value, appreciate, and respect one another so that the God-ordained tie between them cannot be broken…I pray that there be no strain, breach, misunderstanding, arguing, fighting, or separating of ties…”
9. The Doorposts blog – specific encouragement and activity ideas for sibling harmony. We also use these products: The Brother Offended, If-Then, Blessing and Go to the Ant charts, The “Put On” Chart (with paper dolls!)
10. Passionate Purposeful Parenting – so many resources here!
“Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.” 1 Peter 4:8
**Bonus Top Ten! I invite you over to Hodgepodge where I share A Hodgepodge of FAQ Homeschool Questions