“Your children should be best friends. They will be together long after you are gone and they need to learn how to love each other.”
Now that my older children are adults, they plan special days for the younger ones to hang out with them, go to a movie, head out for a run together, or play games. Every Friday night in our house is pizza night, when everyone comes together to spend the evening watching movies and laughing. We celebrate achievements with giant banners made by siblings, streamers, and cookie cakes. We find any reason to celebrate life with one another.
We’ve been blessed to have children who have responded well to our intentionality in developing their relationships, but that doesn’t mean we never have problems. When two siblings seem to be struggling, I usually pair them up and make them do something together, like a deep cleaning project, or even something fun like making cookies. One house rule is no criticizing or harassing each other for any reason, ever.
Lest it sounds like everything is perfect in my little world, this article almost didn’t get written because of an unexpected sibling rift. Two of my children go to college together and this summer, they took a school trip to Israel. After traveling on a very long plane ride, my son got a little tired of his sister who “coughed all night and kept jumping over him to make several trips to the bathroom.” I had visions of them coming off the plane arm-in-arm, closer than ever because of their wonderful time together in the Holy Land. My bubble was burst. After listening to their stories and seeing all their pictures, I was relieved to know they did have an amazing time together on the trip. And, of course, I realized my expectations were a little too high for anyone to live up to.
I know not all families have children with good relationships, and for some moms this is an area of intense frustration and heartache, but God has grace for whatever place a family is in.
He promises to give wisdom when we lack it and ask for it. If you are a mom struggling with sibling rivalry, or even sibling apathy, I would suggest you ask the Lord to give you wisdom to know how to help your children love one another. Then take steps to build opportunities for love to abound. It may require some sacrifices of time and energy on your part as a mom, but I promise the investment will be worth it.
How are you intentional in your family about raising best friends?
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