Friday, January 9, 2015

Sibling Sentiment

Many days seem to be full of endless squabbles. Hitting, throwing toys, disrespectful words abound. While this behavior is not tolerated, I also struggle to find the line of where to step in. They need to learn to work their problems out themselves. As long as no one is in danger they need to master how to maneuver their thoughts and actions in these settings .
Playing with the 'make-up' kit I made
Yet when name calling begins I tend to referee. No one is being physically harmed, but little souls are. Elissa picks up on the words being carelessly thrown around. She may not understand their power, but she has no trouble using them when she is upset. It's what her siblings do. Which makes it even harder to deter her from using their language. She simply doesn't understand.

After particularly hard days I find myself wondering if I am doing things right. I have no idea what I'm doing when it comes to raising multiple children. Most of my life I was an only child. Even after my mom and step-dad adopted I was already out of the house and starting my own family. Self doubt is easily compounded with no thanks to the endless internet venues available at our fingertips. Facebook. Instagram. Blogs.

I know I've said this before, but it is SO easy to hide behind todays technology. Many times we don't see a glimpse of real life. It's easier to share the rosy snap shots outside of the trenches. Even if we don't have photographs to share, we certainly don't talk about what we may consider our 'parenting fails'. But those endless days, the temper tantrums, the unruly threenager? How we handle those moments shapes their tomorrows.
'Washing' windows for me
I am certainly not saying I have all the answers or I always make the right choices when, say, faced with a defiant six year old. I am trying though. When I realize I didn't help the situation by my reaction I ask for forgiveness. Our kiddos need to see that we make mistakes too. That we can own up to them. I also have to forgive myself. Make a conscious effort to react differently next time.

Cause in the end, no one is an expert. Whether you have one or six. Each child is different. We are all learning as we go. There is no textbook with all the answers. And when I see my kids playing together peacefully, if only for a moment I try to capture it. So I can remember that they do love each other. I'm doing something right. And you never know how long it will last!

No comments: