I can’t emphasize enough that I’m writing a blog to become a great mom – not because I am one. I have been so lost and confused on this journey. I feel like I’m questioning myself every moment of every day. That’s why I want to pass on tips to you – because they have been passed to me, and I don’t know how I’d survive this journey without them.
Today I was a meaningful mama by attending a seminar at my church called the “Leadership Summit.” There were a number of break-out sessions going on and a few I attended. The one I’m going to blog about today is the “Sibling Affection” seminar. As I’ve given credit to in my blog, a number of my tips come from the Pritchards – parents of 8 children. They have their own resources at http://www.pritchardministries.org/. I say that I have them on speed dial, and I am always bombarding them with questions. David is the family ministry pastor at our church www.lc3.com as our church has become more intentional about equipping parents to be the number one disciplers of their children. I wish you could hear the Pritchards speak because I won’t do them justice in my notes, but I’ll try and pass on what I’ve learned today.
Today’s blog will simply be me typing out their handout along with my own notes in a different color.
Why Sibling Affection?
We expected our kids to be nice to each other and we had a vision for them to serve and honor one another. One could ask the question, why? Why is it so important for siblings to be kind to one another? There are three main reasons we believe this training is a priority in your parenting.
* First, it honors God when your kids are nice. In a sense your kids acknowledge God’s sovereignty and design when they live out the golden rule with those in your family.
* Second, sibling relationships provide great opportunities for you to teach Godly character. One of the most important principles for you to teach and develop in your children is that of Godly character. Life with brothers and sister becomes a practical place to introduce concepts like serving, honoring, authority, common courtesy, leadership, sharing, loyalty, teamwork, protection, manners and many others.
* And lastly, relating to their siblings is the first and best place to practice living out these Godly character qualities. What better way for your kids to develop and grow their character “muscles” than to practice them with each other. You want your kids to be people of character “out there.” It starts by having them live with character “in here” – your home.
People would say, “Kids fight. That’s normal.” – Is that really God’s design for people?
Operate off of Psalm 133:1 “How good and pleasant is it when brothers live in unity.”
How we Roll
Do no Harm
If they say something mean to a sibling, they need to correct it with two compliments about their character.
If someone cries, the game is over.
If it’s not fun for everyone, it’s not fun.
Being witty is great, but not when it’s at the expense of others.
Kids often say, “It’s OK to act like this toward her because it’s JUST my sister.” Flip that around. “Familiarity brings contempt.” Make sure they treat their sibling with love.
Create a Biblical world view with the Golden Rule – “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
Adults have horrible relationships with their siblings because of the harm that was allowed in the childhood years.
Young ones are taught to honor and respect the older ones.
Older ones are trained to be a servant leader to the younger.
Leaders take main responsibility when things aren’t done correctly unless the little ones are not respecting and honoring the older children.
This is a hard one to unpack, and you really need to hear the Pritchards talk about it and watch how it plays out in their family, but the older ones make a lot of the decisions unless they give their siblings the opportunity. They have trained the older ones to be a servant leader and love on the little ones, and the older ones have risen to that challenge. The young ones are then taught to honor the older ones and show respect. When it’s taught well, they work in unity well.
Teach and Model how to show Affection
Common Courtesy to Siblings You have courtesy for others because God breathed life into them – not because they are talented, pretty, nice, popular, etc.
Forgiveness – Say “I’m sorry for…” give specifics and be genuine - “Will you forgive me? How can I make it right?
Be nice your your siblings friends.
Your friends need to be nice to your siblings.
Twins for a day…a week…however long it takes. Some would tell you that when two are butting heads, separate them. They say that those two become joined at the hip until they can work it out and have unity.
Serving – learn to serve within your family
Fair but not Equal
DON’T TALK ABOUT SIBLING RIVALRY. CHANGE IT TO SIBLING AFFECTION.