Siblings without rivalry

Dec 19, 2014
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I read this amazing book that had some really good tips that I'd like to share.
I was going to carry on with the peacemaking thread cos it ties in with that, because has been some good advice (and some terrible advice, I'm sorry) given in that one.
But I thought I need to actually explain how peacemaking works and that we need to teach it to our children. Cos that's where it starts, in families.

Say your children are fighting and its driving you up the wall. What to do you do? Why do they fight? Does it ever stop..or do you intervene and make it even worse?
Do you take sides, but then one will always feel like the loser? Or do you ignore it all and go lalallala I can't hear you.

Is the aggressor always wrong or is their provoking behaviours? How can you tell? Do you encourage tattling or make them dependent on you - the parent/guardian to always keep the peace.

I am going to explain some things. Now its a given that as christians, we pray. So this will be on top of prayer that you already ought to be doing. This is going to be faith in action.
 
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Dec 19, 2014
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I read this book by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish. They are also authors of How to talk so kids will listen and listen so kids will talk.
I haven't read that book. But I have read Siblings without Rivalry.

Just a disclaimer, not everything in this book I agree with. But in general the principles are sound and a lot of what I am already doing, because when children are fighting and hurting each other, the one thing you don't want to do is be the adult who ignores the problem and lets it get worse. If they are YOUR children nobody else is going to be in that position to care about their wellbeing. If you are looking after them, its your responsiblity, so no passing the buck here, children need to learn peacemaking skills. You are the mediator. You can't kick them out and they have to learn to live together and be at peace.

Jesus calls us to be peacemakers. We need to learn how. Starting in our own families. With our words and actions.

Remember the story of Joseph and his brothers...and all throughout the Old Testament recounts of fights WITHIN the Israelite family. It wasn't just about all those fights/wars between the Isrealites and the Philistines, Cannanaites and the Egyptians. Cain and Abel were brothers. The books of Kings were one long family saga of sibling rivalry and family drama over who got to inherit the throne. Even Jesus disciples had squabbles over who was first, who got to sit next to Jesus. As far as Jesus is concerned, He shared with us a revelation about His kingdom. That it had 12 gates and people from every nation, tribe and tongue. The glory wasn't just so he could sit on the throne next to his Father. He wanted us up there with Him.
 
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Dec 19, 2014
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Ok am just going to state a couple of 'takeways' I learned, this is as much for me as it is for anyone reading this. Anyone growing up in a family where they are not the only child will encounter instances where they are not always first in everything.

Instead of dismissing negative feelings about a sibling, acknowledge the feelings.

Ok lets look at an example in the Bible about Cain and Abel. Cain murdered his brother Abel out of jealousy because Abels offering was acceptable to God and Cains wasn't. What if Cain had told his parents he had negative feelings about Abel? They could have talked it over and found a solution. His parents (Adam and Eve) then could have known something was up and taken some action. If they'd just dismissed Cains feelings, then Cain would have known there was nothing much they could do about it.

This is the first step.
 
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Nov 21, 2016
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Hi Lanolin,

Here's the thing (and no scripture involved), I have 2 sons, who at the moment hate each other with a vengeance!

They are 19 and 21, they are both still living at home and studying at their respective colleges. One is studying Engineering, the other Arts. They are both driving me crazy, but that is beside the point.

When they were little, the younger one followed the older one, until he got old enough to develop a mind of his own. That's when the trouble started.

In years gone by, one or the other would have moved out, but in our current economic climate I get stuck with them.

They are both my boys and they are both studying with a plan to go further with education/apprenticeships/further degrees/ big fat jobs etc.

But at this moment in time they are both still living in the same house together. They hate each other and it breaks my heart ish.

One is a serious engineery, logical kind of guy, the other a kind of artsy fartsy kind of guy. How 2 such different kind of people came out of my body bewilders me.

What I do know, is, that when the pair of them finally leave to pursue their relative careers/worlds, is that they will at least be able to bear each other again because they are not in such close proximity.

Maybe absence makes the heart grow fonder, I don't know. What I do know, is that familiarity breeds contempt!!!!

They still at this age make remarks about how one is favoured over the other. I make it clear that I loathe them equally...

They will leave. They will forge their own lives. But I have no doubt that sibling rivalry will still exist. I just hope that they will be grown up enough to still love each other.... And stop behaving like a couple of little boys???!!!
 
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Sep 22, 2016
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My kids are like yours Annie. Chalk and cheese. Similar ages, one logical the other artistic. One never shuts up.. the other never hardly speaks. One could have surely killed the other..if I didn’t keep them sweet with food and playstations😇
but they have fled the nest now and have their own lives.

They get on much better too!
It’s much more like mellow banter😎
 
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bobinfaith

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Hi Lanolin, Here's the thing (and no scripture involved), I have 2 sons, who at the moment hate each other with a vengeance! They are 19 and 21, they are both still living at home and studying at their respective colleges. One is studying Engineering, the other Arts. They are both driving me crazy, but that is beside the point.

When they were little, the younger one followed the older one, until he got old enough to develop a mind of his own. That's when the trouble started.

In years gone by, one or the other would have moved out, but in our current economic climate I get stuck with them.

They are both my boys and they are both studying with a plan to go further with education/apprenticeships/further degrees/ big fat jobs etc.

But at this moment in time they are both still living in the same house together. They hate each other and it breaks my heart ish.

One is a serious engineery, logical kind of guy, the other a kind of artsy fartsy kind of guy. How 2 such different kind of people came out of my body bewilders me.

What I do know, is, that when the pair of them finally leave to pursue their relative careers/worlds, is that they will at least be able to bear each other again because they are not in such close proximity.

Maybe absence makes the heart grow fonder, I don't know. What I do know, is that familiarity breeds contempt!!!!

They still at this age make remarks about how one is favoured over the other. I make it clear that I loathe them equally...

They will leave. They will forge their own lives. But I have no doubt that sibling rivalry will still exist. I just hope that they will be grown up enough to still love each other.... And stop behaving like a couple of little boys???!!!
My kids are like yours Annie. Chalk and cheese. Similar ages, one logical the other artistic. One never shuts up.. the other never hardly speaks. One could have surely killed the other..if I didn’t keep them sweet with food and playstations😇
but they have fled the nest now and have their own lives. They get on much better too!
It’s much more like mellow banter😎
Hello everyone;

This topic struck a nerve with me, especially Annie's two sons who are 19 and 21. When I was 21 and my younger brother was 19 we bumped heads big time and threw verbal exchanges.

My parents knew this when we were lads and it could not be ignored. They also felt we needed to "work it out" as kids while they intervened if it got out of whack, and it did many times. It got worse as teens but as we reached young adulthood it never got any worse than verbal exchange.

Guy siblings scrap with each other. Hey, we're guy siblings. Girl siblings claw at each other. They're girl siblings. How many times did we experience bumping heads with our siblings but the next day most of us forgot about it and were talking and doing something else?

Its about the upbringing by our parents and there are two angles that parents need to use and thats balance and faith. Siblings have to work out their differences naturally, with the parent's full attention and know when to intervene. The other is keeping the faith. God reminds us that He entrusts Dads and Mums to be the stewards of the precious gifts He gives, and thats our children. But we have a responsibility.

I agree that peacemaking starts in the family. There is no one all solution to raising kids because each family is unique, and peacemaking takes hard work, but is attainable in solidifying a solid foundation at the children's early upbringing.


Balance and faith. Anyone else's thoughts?







 
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rtm3039

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Hello everyone;

This topic struck a nerve with me, especially Annie's two sons who are 19 and 21. When I was 21 and my younger brother was 19 we bumped heads big time and threw verbal exchanges.

My parents knew this when we were lads and it could not be ignored. They also felt we needed to "work it out" as kids while they intervened if it got out of whack, and it did many times. It got worse as teens but as we reached young adulthood it never got any worse than verbal exchange.

Guy siblings scrap with each other. Hey, we're guy siblings. Girl siblings claw at each other. They're girl siblings. How many times did we experience bumping heads with our siblings but the next day most of us forgot about it and were talking and doing something else?

Its about the upbringing by our parents and there are two angles that parents need to use and thats balance and faith. Siblings have to work out their differences naturally, with the parent's full attention and know when to intervene. The other is keeping the faith. God reminds us that He entrusts Dads and Mums to be the stewards of the precious gifts He gives, and thats our children. But we have a responsibility.

I agree that peacemaking starts in the family. There is no one all solution to raising kids because each family is unique, and peacemaking takes hard work, but is attainable in solidifying a solid foundation at the children's early upbringing.


Balance and faith. Anyone else's thoughts?
I don't have a guy sibling, but I have a gal sibling. As little kids, we got along well. In our teen years, that ended. By 14, my sister had an impressive arrest record. In one evening, she managed to get arrested for grand theft (car), possession of cocaine, destruction of private and public property, and resisting arrest. Her story was that she stole a car. While driving, the "W" in a Walk Sign jumped in front of her, causing her to take out almost a whole block of parking meters. Shortly after that, she ran away to California.

I have only seen her once, since 1990. After our last parent passed away, we started to talk on the phone. Prior to that, I only heard from her when she needed money. She did not attend the funeral of either parent and, even before our dad's passing, she was already texting me what items she wanted from our dad.

Like I said, we now talk on the phone at least once a month. She claims that she is planning to come down here and visit, with her two kids.

My sister has had a hard like, almost all of it self-imposed. She has been arrested, homeless, and been fired more often than a civil war cannon. She is the posterchild for lesbianism, lost her wife to a rare heart infection, has worshiped a coconut (no lie), and is raising two kids on her own. She sometimes works two jobs, because taking care of her kids is her main priority. There is practically nothing she does that I like, but she is my sister. If you saw a pic of her, you would say she is my brother, but nope - she is my younger sister and that's just the way it is. I guess the point I am making is that's a family thing.

rtm3039
 

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I don't have a guy sibling, but I have a gal sibling. As little kids, we got along well. In our teen years, that ended. By 14, my sister had an impressive arrest record. In one evening, she managed to get arrested for grand theft (car), possession of cocaine, destruction of private and public property, and resisting arrest. Her story was that she stole a car. While driving, the "W" in a Walk Sign jumped in front of her, causing her to take out almost a whole block of parking meters. Shortly after that, she ran away to California.

I have only seen her once, since 1990. After our last parent passed away, we started to talk on the phone. Prior to that, I only heard from her when she needed money. She did not attend the funeral of either parent and, even before our dad's passing, she was already texting me what items she wanted from our dad.

Like I said, we now talk on the phone at least once a month. She claims that she is planning to come down here and visit, with her two kids.

My sister has had a hard like, almost all of it self-imposed. She has been arrested, homeless, and been fired more often than a civil war cannon. She is the posterchild for lesbianism, lost her wife to a rare heart infection, has worshiped a coconut (no lie), and is raising two kids on her own. She sometimes works two jobs, because taking care of her kids is her main priority. There is practically nothing she does that I like, but she is my sister. If you saw a pic of her, you would say she is my brother, but nope - she is my younger sister and that's just the way it is. I guess the point I am making is that's a family thing.

rtm3039
Hey Ray;

I understand. I have a brother who went prodigal on our family, hit rock bottom and enlisted in the Air Force when he was 18. The Air Force did "man" him up, got his degree and later masters in computer science and chose not to come back to the family but retire overseas. He still has an attitude when he makes a rare visit back to California and everything is always on his terms. He does not believe in God but acknowledges a "higher up" and says it boldly.

I'm not proud of the way I judged his life (being the eldest of 7) but years later I opened up to him and asked his forgiveness for cursing him. He seemed to forgive what I confessed to him. He is still my younger brother.

I feel despite our different family situations we both arrived at being peacemakers with our siblings.
 

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Hey Ray;

I understand. I have a brother who went prodigal on our family, hit rock bottom and enlisted in the Air Force when he was 18. The Air Force did "man" him up, got his degree and later masters in computer science and chose not to come back to the family but retire overseas. He still has an attitude when he makes a rare visit back to California and everything is always on his terms. He does not believe in God but acknowledges a "higher up" and says it boldly.

I'm not proud of the way I judged his life (being the eldest of 7) but years later I opened up to him and asked his forgiveness for cursing him. He seemed to forgive what I confessed to him. He is still my younger brother.

I feel despite our different family situations we both arrived at being peacemakers with our siblings.
You know what they say; you can pick your nose, but you can't pick your family.
 
Sep 22, 2016
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Balance, Faith and ...
What’s the word when you want someone to listen to your advice but they won’t take it?😂

my daughters husband is a good chap.. But he and his family have a tendency to feed their little girl on rubbish sometimes.
I made them eat their greens and grains before sweets when they were little..

It’s so frustrating at times to see her eating chocolate pudding for breakfast😐
 
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bobinfaith

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Balance, Faith and ...
What’s the word when you want someone to listen to your advice but they won’t take it?
😂

my daughters husband is a good chap.. But he and his family have a tendency to feed their little girl on rubbish sometimes.
I made them eat their greens and grains before sweets when they were little..

It’s so frustrating at times to see her eating chocolate pudding for breakfast😐
Hey Via;

Balance, Faith and Bob. lol! bob meaning "to avoid, move around, up or down" can be used as an expression when resisting advice.
 
Dec 19, 2014
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Ok sounds like this is common with many of us!
I am second in a family of four children, and older sister (2 and a half years older) and two younger brothers, twins, two years younger.

I shared a room with my big sister, but she is very different from me, was quite bossy while I looked up to her and was probably quite annoying and tried to copy everything she did. I got on with my brothers somewhat, as we could play together, but I was far too 'childish' for my sister to bother with. I remember a time when they all decided to exclude me from their 'club' so I was the odd one out.

We are all leading somewhat separate lives now (all left home except me) but occasionally get together on family occasions, living together is a different story. My brothers, though they share a house, one is not there for the most part as he's away at work out of town/overseas. Sis is on the other side of the world. When she does come to stay, there can be dramas (mercifully, its only a week or two at most) as she tends to boss everyone around.

My big thing when young was to actually have a room of my own! With nobody else's stuff in it. Some privacy. Not necessarily an entire house to myself, just a room would do. lol I do believe that people can be so territorial, but its for everyone safety to have their own things. And when things are shared, or traded, there needs to be negotiation.
 
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Ok sounds like this is common with many of us!
I am second in a family of four children, and older sister (2 and a half years older) and two younger brothers, twins, two years younger.

I shared a room with my big sister, but she is very different from me, was quite bossy while I looked up to her and was probably quite annoying and tried to copy everything she did. I got on with my brothers somewhat, as we could play together, but I was far too 'childish' for my sister to bother with. I remember a time when they all decided to exclude me from their 'club' so I was the odd one out.

We are all leading somewhat separate lives now (all left home except me) but occasionally get together on family occasions, living together is a different story. My brothers, though they share a house, one is not there for the most part as he's away at work out of town/overseas. Sis is on the other side of the world. When she does come to stay, there can be dramas (mercifully, its only a week or two at most) as she tends to boss everyone around.

My big thing when young was to actually have a room of my own! With nobody else's stuff in it. Some privacy. Not necessarily an entire house to myself, just a room would do. lol I do believe that people can be so territorial, but its for everyone safety to have their own things. And when things are shared, or traded, there needs to be negotiation.
Hey Lanolin;

Would you agree that rivalry can still exist for some siblings, even as grown up adults? After reading your post, my siblings (7 of us ages 63 - 43 years of age) are all grown up and except for my youngest brother and 4th eldest sister who live with my Dad and step-mom, live in separate homes, state and country. So when we communicate keeping in mind the "rivalry" or respecting the traits of each one. Not all my siblings are Christian so their rivalry to me is not always open to my sharing the gospel.
 
Dec 19, 2014
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Lets look at what the book has to say about this...

Give children in fantasy what they don't have in reality

Instead of dismissing their feelings, express what the child might wish.

Maybe in the example of Cain and Abel, the parents (Adam and Eve) could have said something like you wish Abel would share some sheep with you.

Help children channel their hostile feeling into symbolic or creative outlets

Instead of 'what are you going to do, kill him? you're bad' encourage creative expression
In this example, Cains parents could ask him to draw a picture of what he'd like or write to Abel asking for some sheep in return for some produce or they could have helped him with his offering to please God.

Stop hurtful behaviour. Show how angry feelings can be discharged safely. Refrain from attacking the attacker.

Instead of accusations, name calling, attacking etc show better ways to express anger.

Cain's parents could I can see you are angry at your brother for being successful and disappointed in yourself for not getting things right, if you are frustrated and need help with anything come to us first. Another thing to stress is that you haven't failed if things aren't perfect, its just a chance to do better/improve or learn something. Keep at it for practise makes perfect.

I wish the story of Cain and Abel had some more detail about it. For example, why was Cain's offering not acceptable or respectable to God, had he actually done his best or it just wasn't what was required? Thinking about it with things like job applications, most of the time people miss out because they haven't really given the employer what was required. But that shouldn't stop anyone from applying, or feel bad cos they didn't get the job. Dealing with disappointment is a big thing for many people. Cain's parents needed to be available and present to help their son overcome this. In the bible story they are noticeably absent!
 
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Hey Lanolin;

Would you agree that rivalry can still exist for some siblings, even as grown up adults? After reading your post, my siblings (7 of us ages 63 - 43 years of age) are all grown up and except for my youngest brother and 4th eldest sister who live with my Dad and step-mom, live in separate homes, state and country. So when we communicate keeping in mind the "rivalry" or respecting the traits of each one. Not all my siblings are Christian so their rivalry to me is not always open to my sharing the gospel.
Of course. It does show up when you need to be in the same room again. If you try to communicate yet it descends into squabbles there's still rivalry..especially if you all want to please your parents I guess. I'm not sure if this really goes away after the parents pass away..anyone experience that?
 
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"Blessed are the peacemakers"

Going 'slightly' off topic, I recently watched 'The Life of Brian' with my sons. I wanted to introduce them to the retro world of Monty Python. There's a moment when nobody can hear what Jesus is saying and they think he says "Blessed are the cheesemakers"... "Why are the cheesemakers so special" etc etc.

We all sat laughing. But sometimes I wonder If instead of trying to make peace between these two muppets, I should just make cheese:confused:
 

bobinfaith

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"Blessed are the peacemakers"

Going 'slightly' off topic, I recently watched 'The Life of Brian' with my sons. I wanted to introduce them to the retro world of Monty Python. There's a moment when nobody can hear what Jesus is saying and they think he says "Blessed are the cheesemakers"... "Why are the cheesemakers so special" etc etc.

We all sat laughing. But sometimes I wonder If instead of trying to make peace between these two muppets, I should just make cheese:confused:
lol! Annie! How does one make cheese, at home?

It actually made me think, there are those moments when families did something uniquely different and fun, just within that family that brought each other together and break down the rivalry.

As kids we watched Dr. Who and the Daleks. My Dad would stop the fish and chips truck guy outside and buy dinner. It was a fun time.
 
Dec 19, 2014
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ok carrying on...using Cain and Abel as examples - remember you are their parents, Adam and Eve, the supposed peacemakers/mediators in this conflict.

To cain--
avoid unfavourable comparisons.
Instead of...
'Abel had a better offering than you' '

Describe the problem-
'Those fruit don't look the best'

To Abel--
avoid favourable comparisons
Instead of
'your always do the right thing Abel. Your brother doesn't listen to instructions'

Describe what you see or feel.
'I see you are taking good care of all the sheep'


'
 
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rtm3039

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lol! Annie! How does one make cheese, at home?

It actually made me think, there are those moments when families did something uniquely different and fun, just within that family that brought each other together and break down the rivalry.

As kids we watched Dr. Who and the Daleks. My Dad would stop the fish and chips truck guy outside and buy dinner. It was a fun time.
I just re-read this. "the fish and chips truck?" Where did you grow up?

rtm3039
 
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lol! Annie! How does one make cheese, at home?

It actually made me think, there are those moments when families did something uniquely different and fun, just within that family that brought each other together and break down the rivalry.

As kids we watched Dr. Who and the Daleks. My Dad would stop the fish and chips truck guy outside and buy dinner. It was a fun time.
We used to watch Dr Who and the Daleks together. Now they are too old and I just want to bash both their silly big heads together with my cheese-making sticks!!! I don't know how to make cheese, but I'm sure it involves big sticks:LOL:
 
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