Having two girls in the house, close in age, gets a little dramatic at times. Charlotte took Adelaide’s dress-up outfit or Adelaide gave Charlotte a “look”. Trying to get my children to be kind to each other can seem like a hopeless task.
As a mother, it frustrates me when I work so hard to teach my children how God wants us to act and then I see them acting selfishly. In reality, we were all born selfish creatures. We all want our way.
I’ve had to be a little creative when it comes to teaching my kids to get along.
One of the biggest ways I’ve seen improvement is through teaching them to care for each other.
When I remind my kids to do something for the other, they are more willing to practice kindness later on. By simply asking one child to get something that the other child needs, encourages them to be helpful.
I want my kids to be there for each other. As moms, I think we all want this. Most first time parents choose to have another child so that their first child will have a playmate and a friend. Although much of this may happen apart from us, it’s important that we encourage this relationship of love and care.
I’m currently reading Managers of Their Homes, which I highly recommend if you have multiple children. Recently, we had began scheduling play time with our older children and youngest child. This is something that they recommend doing in the book so that the children can grow their relationship and also help Mom out at the same time. I had not given much thought to how this was shaping our children’s relationships with each other. We didn’t realize that we were already doing this because our older children would just ask to play with Owen and of course we would say yes.
As I became more aware, I realized how beneficial this was to our family. Our girls are learning to care for their little brother and that’s a responsibility I want them to have.
So, here is how we do “scheduled playtime” in our home. Whoever finishes their chores and asks first gets to go into the gate with Owen. We use this play yard for little ones and it’s seriously a life-saver in our home. I know that he is safe and I’m able to get my own chores done.
It can get a little rowdy with a three-year-old and one-year-old but it gives them the opportunity to teach Owen to be gentle. With a new baby coming, our girls know that it’s important he learns this.
So, if you struggle with getting your kids to get along, try encouraging your older ones to have playtime with the younger ones. It can be as simple as reading books or throwing a ball with each other.
Here are some easy, repetitive books that my preschoolers love to “read” to their brother:
I challenge you to pray that God would grow their relationships into something amazing and beautiful.
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