Will siblings fight? Yes. Do we have to wait until they get older get on the same page? No. "Little brothers are a pest"..."Big sisters are bossy"... "They are so annoying!"... These and other remarks are echoed frequently and explained as normal sibling dealings. While there are tough times, I don't believe it has to be the norm. Teaching your children "people skills" starts with home life and those they deal with everyday; their family. There have been times where my kids will spend time around other families/siblings and quickly adapt their ways; Teasing one another, taunting, speaking rudely to one another, etc. I quickly remind them that that's not how WE operate. "Alexas, you're reaching. It's harmless... It's a part of growing up." If this statement is your thought, close this page and call your sibling(s) right now. Chances are, they have a bone to pick with you, ha, ha!
How they treat one another matters. Conscious actions determine each child's experience and how they experience one another. We, as humans, have to be taught how to look beyond ourselves. It doesn't just magically become an idea. My mom was really big on teaching me how to consider how my actions affect situations; which has been huge in my forward movement and not getting caught up in society norms. I'm taking it a step further and challenging us all (amazing parents) to be a catalyst for change starting within our four walls. We CAN do this!
I have some of the most beautiful children inside and out. I am always amazed at how much love they give in and from abundance. It is my job to facilitate them viewing one another with respect, love and care. Love languages aren't just for romantic relationships and learning someone doesn't begin as adults. One of the biggest steps we can take is:
Look for signs
I've written about Joshua adjusting to being the middle and how intentional we all must be in helping him adjust. He loves having both of his sisters but is navigating where he fits on a continual basis. It's not because we aren't giving him an outpouring of love, support and quality time, I believe it's something he constantly questions in his process. He is the child I have to remind how hard I am willing to fight to protect and love fiercely JUST BECAUSE. If I really look back, he's a lot like me as a child in this way but I toughened up because it was an unfulfilled desire. Recently, I noticed he started to pick with his older sister consistently. They were pointless spats and I knew he was bigger than what he was dishing out. After watching for a pattern (vital), I realized that he was doing it because hew didn't feel like she was giving him the same energy, she was giving everyone else. Petty!!!! lol (But who can relate?!) She was unconsciously give him a "bland" salutation. This is small, right?! To you and me, YES. To him, NOPE. It was a make or break! Truly, those you love shouldn't have to always pour from their heart and cry out for you to notice what they desire. Again, that has to be taught.
Bailey was immediately getting irritated and returning the attitude; calling for shots fired, lol. I spoke with Joshua immediately in that moment to assist him in reflection and how to operate in kindness. I later pulled Bailey to the side (Joshua later on another incident) and explained to her the origin and ways to banish this behavior through her action. Simply, her brother just wants her attention and a confirmation of love. I asked her if this was too hard to due and she immediately answered with a promise of effort. It has dynamically changed their exchange and almost banished petty spats. This is just one opportunity I took to affirm what should be. Everyone should monitor how they're treating each other. It's not about perfection but progress.
Teaching intention is a vital part of each family member's positive experience; hence, determining how we operate in the world. Don't just shrug off negative talk, fight and rude behavior. Even bigger, encourage positive dialogue and interactions.