Friday, July 22, 2011

Almost there

It started just after Christmas. The arguing. Fighting over toys. Tattling. Some call it sibling rivalry. God calls it sin.

Christian & McKenna are hard these days. Like really hard. Christian picks, McKenna screams. The other day Christian ran over McKenna with his bike on purpose. He even told me he did it on purpose. McKenna bit Will's hand the other day. Really?? You have got to be kidding. She bit the baby. Lord help me! Not fun!

Whenever I talk to other moms about the lack of peace in our home I would usually hear things like "Oh my kids hate each other too" or "Yeah that's what our house is like all the time too." It's like everyone has just resigned themselves to the fact that kids act like that and it's no big deal.

Well, it is a big deal. A really big deal. It's just a hard daily battle to fight. God gave my kids each other so that they would learn how to get along with other people. So they would learn to be compassionate and so that would learn how to handle their disappointment when they don't get what they want. So I wanted to (and want to continue to) work on this area of their lives with them.

I'd love to hear how you settle sibling disputes in your house. I need some creative ideas. I know it's going to be a long road and an issue that we will continually be tackling.

I did come up with a decent idea a few weeks ago that seems to be working for the time being. We created the chart you see above. It has 72 spots on it for stickers and the only way you get a sticker is by demonstrating the Fruit of the Spirit to your brother/sister. They don't get stickers for doing chores or for obedience. They only get a sticker if they show kindness and love to each other on their own. No reminders or prodding from me. When the chart is full I'm taking them to see Cars 2. Most of their friends have already seen it and it's killing them to hear that other kids have already gotten to watch it and they haven't. I thought Christian was going to keel over and pass out when he saw just how many stickers he was going to have to get on that chart.

But you know what???

I've seen them hug each other quite frequently.

And Christian now automatically opens the car door for McKenna to get in on her side.

And McKenna is constantly picking up Christian's shoes and putting them in his shoe bucket.

They just needed some positive reinforcement.

Things aren't perfect, but things are better.

We've talked A LOT about serving one another and we've been using the word "honor" and yeah, I'm bribing them to do it right now, but I am praying that in the process they'll form some habits and realize that it does bring them JOY to show kindness and compassion to one another.

Over the last few days there has been a lot of excitement and over and over I've heard "we're almost there."

The chart is almost full and we will be going to see CARS 2.

What they don't know is that another chart with 72 more empty spaces will be making it's appearance rather soon :)


Anonymous said...

I remember always telling my kiddos that they had to be nice to each other and not fight. Rob would aggravate Caitlin to tears. I always told them that they only have each other. That's how God made our family and that they weren't allowed to fight.

The other day, Caitlin said she is thankful that I had that rule. She and Rob are really great friends!!!

Keep up the good pays off!!


the mccollums... said...

Love this chart! You are so creative! I think I may need a chart for myself..ha ha. ;) Patience and self-control. Happy that they have their stickers up and seem to be working hard. Nothing wrong with some positive motivation!

Anonymous said...

I simply told Carter and Kohl that they were NOT allowed to have fights or be mean to each other ( whereas their father and I were not mean to them or to each other)...again like you reminding them of how God would want them to behave....for some reason they believed me and continue to be good friends to this day...this was also the rule in my house for not smoking, wild teenage behavior, and doing drugs.. and they believed me on that one too!! go figure!!!