Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Sibling Rivalry

This picture suits these two well. They are so lovey with each other, but sometimes I am not quite sure if they are a split second away from wrestling one another to the ground over some disagreement. Each day has its share of squabbles to settle and love to restore.

Teri Maxwell of Titus 2 shares her wisdom and encouragement for mothers. She recently posted a great article in response to a letter about dealing with bickering and complaining in children.

I often appreciate Teri's words as she does not beat around the bush, she speaks from the heart, points us to God's Word, and gives lots of practical tips as well. This Mom's Corner was no exception.

She stresses the clear importance of a solid foundation in God's Word through devotion time and in conversation. We need to set the personal example in obediently following Christ with our whole heart and our daily attitude. She also promises continued encouragement to come:

There is much more that I would like to share regarding the questions posed in the introductory e-mail of this article. The starting place is family time in the Word that takes Scripture and makes it applicable to the daily problems our children are facing. The next step involves Mom's expectations of her children and her determination to see this project as a long-term one, which she tackles with perseverance and patience. She has to take her thoughts captive so that she isn't dwelling on the negative. Then Mom wants to look into her own heart to evaluate whether there is sin in her life that might be contributing to the children's sin. May we be women who use every difficulty we face to turn our faces to the One Who can help us, Jesus Christ.

One practical tip that Teri offered that I could relate to is taking a moment at the beginning of a discipline situation to hug and kiss your child. I have recently found this "technique" helpful in a variety of settings. When I feel the frustration rising in myself, if I first take a breath and then draw that child, or children in and start with a tender hug and kiss we all can approach a resolution with more openness. Amazingly, that bitterness and resentment just melts away with some tiny kisses.

Hugs and kisses help me approach my children with greater love at other times as well. I must admit that I am not very strong in the compassion department. However, when one of my kids needs some physical care, if I first take a deep breath, hug and kiss them, and then really look at them, I discover love and compassion growing. I can mother them with a genuine concern as opposed to the duty driven nurse that I sheltered moments before.

Mothering is not a short-term project, not one that knows any off-the-clock hours, not one for the faint of heart, and not one I would trade for anything.

1 comment:

Courtney said...

I saved this post a while back, meaning to get to it. I read it today. Thanks for this!