Does anyone, besides me, have kids who fight like CATS & DOGS with their siblings? Of course... you all do! But I have to wonder some days if mine have taken it to a whole new level of sibling rivalry! Like the Cain & Abel kind of stuff.
This morning is a prime example. The two oldest(a girl and a boy), who are 17 months apart in age (could this be the crux of the problem?),were eating breakfast before setting off to school. They started throwing little insults out to each other for no apparent reason. I tried to redirect them back into getting ready for school. This worked for about a nano- second and they were right back at it! This time taking it up a notch...one shoved the other on the way down the hall to brush teeth. "HEY"!!! I called. " Cut It OUT"! "Just get ready for school!" Their doors both slammed in unison. Of course they share a bathroom though, so a minute or two later....here go the insults back and forth again. Finally ...I have had it! And I bring out my BIG GUNS...so to speak, the thing that I can "take away" that will have the biggest impact. "OK.....If you two don't STOP fighting...... N_O_W.... then.....Your Halloween candy goes away for a couple of days!!! ----------------------ALL IS QUIET for 1.....2......3.....4.....5.....6.....7....seconds......8......9....then
A big thumping sound followed by my son SCREAMING-BLOODY-MURDER "OWWWW" he cries. More screaming still. I go running to see what has happened. But of course ....I have a pretty good idea before I even get there. As I approach the scene, my son is laying on the floor next to the bathroom door, holding his head and YES...still screaming. "WHAT Happened?" I demand. "He Hit his head on the corner by the door" says my daughter. "And did you maybe help him hit his head?" I ask. Her answer....no comment...of course. "Get your books and Go Wait Outside!!" I tell her. I am of course furious with them both at this point. But I need to see if we might be on the way to an E.R. somewhere. Luckily...other than a huge whelt on the front side of his forehead, my son seems to be O.K. But it is time for him to leave for school, so I am praying there is no concussion. I walked him outside to wait for their ride to school and explain to them both how "wrong" it is for them to fight this way. My daughter.....is of course...crying now too...because she KNOWS she's in BIG trouble. "You need to apologize to each other." I tell them. Grunts and scoffing ensue....heads both down, looking only at the ground. "Sorry" says one of them. "SO--rryyyy" snips the other. You guess which one has the attiTUDE. So I tell my daughter she will go straight to her room after school--DO NOT PASS GO----and NO "candy" for 3 days! And then I give a big hug and say" I Love You". Their ride finally shows up and they are off to school.
Now I know some of you are maybe making judgements right now thinking that my children have learned this behavior... by examples set...perhaps from their parents. And to some extent...maybe you would be right. But hitting and pushing and shoving are NOT things they see their parents do in our household. Still.... I had to stop and think after they left...What if...he DID get a concussion and ended up in the hospital fighting for his life? It could happen. All because of sibling rivalry?
So what is the answer? Who is really responsible? Does it all go back to that same BAD apple that Eve plucked and ate in the Beginning? Was either she or Adam to blame for bad parenting when Cain killed Abel? I mean.... aside from _NOT EATING THE APPLE- was there something they should have done differently which could have ensured a more positive outcome for their children? I feel that my husband and I do about as good of a job as anyone else when it comes to our parenting strategies.
But we, as parents, can only do so much....and then hopefully our children will draw from some place deep inside their cores the "right" behavioral choices and decisions.
SCRIPTURE OF THE DAY
How good and pleasant it is when brothers can live together.
PSALM 133: 1
The Secret in action!
8 years ago