First off, I am an only child and need all the help I can get when it comes to sibling rivalry! Honestly, with all the books I've read, I just don't get it. Sometimes I just want to yell at the top of my lungs, "Why can't you all just be friends??!!" Furthermore, I have talked to so many adult friends that don't have close relationships with their sibs and I want so much more for my kids. Anyway, the relationships in the family are not only the first our kids encounter but the most important (after God). I feel that one of my most important jobs is teaching my children to live, love, and learn to interact with a large variety of people, no matter whether they are easy or difficult to care about. God has provided me with four children in which several have
I really like the Brother Offended Program because it is Bible-based and gives the children (and Mom) a visual step-by-step guide on how to resolve a conflict. It also points out that both parties in a conflict carry responsibility for the conflict. How often have we as parents been caught starting to admonish a child for misconduct and then discovered that the tattler did something wrong as well? So how do I use it? Every morning I review the chart with the kids, and we do a few common role-playing situations that may arise in a given day. I read to them one of the Bible passages from the chart while they color a page that I've found on the Internet that most closely matches the subject. Example #2 on the chart is Remove the plank from your own eye first with the Bible passage Matthew 7:1. This is a huge issue in our home. Then as many times as possible during the day, I help them run through the steps on the chart when a problem arises. I am treating this like potty training a child -- it is my main focus during the day. The hope is within a short time they will resolve most issues diplomatically on their own. If an issue cannot be resolved, they can go to the authority (Mom and Dad) to resolve it for them. However, everyone involved will have to take responsibility for their actions once they are in front of me for judgment.
One funny thing from yesterday -- I heard a fight break out across the room and stood up with the chart in hand. One daughter quickly handed the disputed toy to the other and said, "Stop crying, Mom is coming with the chart and then we will miss out on play time." LOL... Of course I want them to resolve these issues, because they have willing and kind hearts, not just because Mom is coming, but this is a start!
If you have more questions or I haven't explained this well, just let me know. I can't really read this over and see how much sense it makes since the natives are restless. They think they are supposed to get breakfast in the morning! REALLY!