Siblings Unity

November 14, 2012, 0 Comments

The day the boys were BOTH into cars, trains, bus and all sorts of vehicles was the day they start fighting.

As they say, siblings who fight often, also ends up being closer to one another.   I don’t know how true is that, but I hope that their fight wasn’t malicious. I certainly do not think negative feelings that were generated throughout the years can produce a harvest of love!

I suppose the one of the distinctions between first borns, onlies and latter borns are that first borns and onlines came into the world thinking the world belongs to them and they have the right to be first in everything. Latter borns, on the other hand, learnt very early on that the world is to be shared.

Krunchy Boy has a penchant in tidying his things and putting them neatly in boxes, shelves or bags. Most of his possessions that are in boxes, or containers are out of bounds.  Sunshine, on the other hand just loved poking his head into everything simply because he believes that to enjoy life, you have to experience it!

And so one typical day, Sunshine was prying into Krunchy Boy’s box.  Krunchy Boy snatched his box out of Sunshine’s hands and a hand went right back. Well, I usually watch from the side-line and interfere when I sensed danger. Either someone was about to turn aggressive or that something was about to be destroyed.  At that juncture, I think something close to world war II was about to break out.

I reached out and requested for the box, got them both to back off and calm down. Then I got them to come together and discuss. (Which explains why I could take these precious photos!)

Both boys, already used to discussing, sat down facing each other without clawing each others’ eyes out.  Krunchy Boy said to Sunshine “You took my box, it is not right!”. I think Sunshine knows he was wrong for touching someone’s things without permission and had that sheepish look on his face. How I loved these moments. Moments where a soft and teachable heart melts ours and I had to withhold my iimpulse from rushing forth to hug that cute face! And so I did, and watched from the sideline.

But Krunchy Boy was rather adamant and would not budge even though Sunshine asked for permission to touch it. I nudged him playfully to be gracious and to share.  So Krunchy Boy said “Ok, I will take out all my things and you can look at the box. After you see it, you must return to me!”.  Sunshine said “Ok kor kor”. But really, I think the real reason Sunshine was putting his hands into the box was that the contents inside was intriguing the life out of him, so what fun is there when Kor kor now removes everything? But then, there was this dignity thing and Sunshine kinda just took it.  Boy oh boy!

Actually when Sunshine said yes, he didn’t even cast a second glance at the box, which I suspect is now useless, without the contents!

Just when I thought the older brother has just successfully tricked the little one into abandoning his plans. He said this “I’m going to give you this box so you can put your own things”. Hmmmm… totally melt my heart really. I know that since Krunchy Boy had really loved this box, I praised Krunchy Boy for being so generous. So in passing the test, he could have the box back and I told him that I actually had plans to get one of those for little brother.

Within minutes, they both came together and bonded again. The little one took the initiative to monkey around and then Kor kor laughed and they were teasing each other again. They are both so cute in their own ways.

So while the boys ‘fight’ almost everyday… we don’t actually have a eruptive volcano going on all the time (although it does happen!) and I am grateful. I am inclined to believe that the more siblings play together, the closer they would grow towards one another.

Tips to resolve kiddy conflicts

- Be there!

kids cannot see beyond the moment. Parents help to provide insight to the situation.

- Explain the situation clearly.

i.e: Analyse the situation and break it down to simple terms. There is only one toy and both of you wants it. So what are we going to do? OR There is only one boy who can sit at the window any one time.

- Teach them to fish.

Don’t remove the toy and remove a teachable moment. Give them tools to facilitate discussion or negotiation to resolve a conflict.

- Listen in.

Then leave them to discuss and listen in to their terms laid out to each other. Intervene only when one is seen taking advantage and being unfair. Some tactics for negotiations are: Taking turns, exchanging toys, giving or waiting.  These actions requires exercising self-control.

- Be proactively

  • Give plenty of opportunities for siblings to play together everyday.
  • Teach that it is ok to keep some things they really treasure and separate the other things that they can share.
  • Teach that they are occasions, they are required to share something they treasure even though it is painful. i.e: If Krunchy boy is the only one with remote control sports car and Sunshine does not, Krunchy Boy can still lay out some conditions in order to share with Sunshine.
  • Teach through stories, sing songs about generosity or draw life examples to talk about loving, sharing, giving and helping.
  • Teach that they should use kind words and not hands to resolve conflict.
  • Make sharing lives a family lifestyle. Learning to give can start within the family. It can be to give to the less fortunate, serving family members in various ways; setting the table, making each other’s bed, sometimes our kids make our bed, sometimes we make theirs! Visiting friends in need with the children. Being in the process of selecting birthday gifts for family members, celebrating each others’ victories, big or small.
  • Be joyful when we give. Impart Spirit of joy so that Bible truths comes alive. Acts 20:35 “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”
  • Speak destiny into their lives.  Brothers are destined to live in unity. We use this wonderful picture to depict unity. For young children especially, picture speaks a thousand words. We use this to remind them they are purposed to be united.

“How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity!” Psalm 133:1

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