Teaching my children to act with civility toward one another is a difficult job. You would think they were auditioning for a reality tv show the way they carry on at times. I tell the girls constantly to talk through their differences, "Use your words," I say 1,400 times per day. The goal is to love your neighbor as yourself. I don't need them to be best friends, just civil.
We have 2 basic rules in our house:
- Be kind. In action and in deed. No screaming, grabbing, or other rude behavior.
- No personal injury related activity or retaliation. That covers biting, slapping or hitting, sucker punches, hair pulling.
We have good days and bad days. A fantastic moment is followed by a moment worthy of the WWF. There are times I rejoice in the girls' relational progress and times I shudder at how far they have to go. And time-out and perhaps duct tape are appropriate.
On one of our sunny days, the girls were playing out in the yard. I was trying to read a novel -- a novel and crazy idea in anyone's book (pun intended). I sat and watched them while reading and they were fighting about climbing a tree. Emma could get herself into the tree and was hogging it. Mandy wanted to get in the tree, but couldn't get up. Fight, fight, fight. It's my turn, no it's my turn. I said, "Use your words," "Share," and "Be nice," a dozen times or more from my sunny perch on the front porch.
Eventually it was quiet for a bit and I read more than just a paragraph. I looked up to see this....
It was a proud mommy moment. Big sister helping little sister. It became far more fascinating to watch their interaction than my book about a street wise girl from NYC hiding out with the Amish. As interesting as it was.
Maybe we're making more progress than I thought. I pray for more of this...
I like this picture so, so, so much. I could stare at it all day. I'm thinking about printing it off as a poster for the girls' room. I added a quote to it. Which one do you like best?
A great quote from Anne Frank. "How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world."
"It is one of the most beautiful compensations of this life that no one can sincerely try to help another without helping himself." Ralph is a wise guy.
And there is always this Scripture: And he said to him, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind." This is the great and first commandment. And second is like it, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." Matthew 22:37-39
Leave me a comment and let me know which one you like the best. Or a different quote that you think would be perfect with this picture.