Monday, September 16, 2013
"One day you won't like each other." This is what a Sgt. in the Air Guard told my 4 year old at family day. She's the one on the right holding her big sisters hand.
I don't exactly remember what preceded this woman telling my daughter this statement, but I can tell you what happened on the way home. My sweet, innocent four year old was in shock and immediately asked me why the lady said that. She then followed that question with, "Is that true, Mama?"
My mama's heart was saddened and somewhat annoyed. The Sgt. meant well, I'm sure. (in her own way) One can only assume that she grew up with siblings and didn't like hers when they were older. This is not how I want my children to be. This is not how I am raising them.
The above picture was taken one evening the week after the family day and after dinner as night was approaching. We went out to the back yard to walk around and when I saw this I quickly grabbed my camera.
So was that Sgt. right? Will my kids not like each other when they become adults? I don't think so. As a matter of fact, I believe that those little girls will grow into women and be each others best friends.
Will they disagree and fight along the way? Of course. Will they have moments where they aren't too fond of each other? Of course. They do now. It is how they deal with each hardship with each other that I believe will tell the tale of their future relationships.
And this is where parenting comes in. What do I do when they make each other mad? When one takes the others belonging... when one hurts the others feelings... raises their voice at each other... disrespects each other?
I go to the Bible and teach them what Grace and forgiveness is. We talk. They talk. I encourage them not to hold in their feelings but to voice them with each other. Communication is important. I want each of them to hear their siblings pain and to act the way they would want their sister to act towards them if they were the one hurt.
This form of parenting is time consuming and it isn't always easy, but it has worked for us so far.
My girls fight and they make up. They hurt each other and they forgive. Each one knows they aren't perfect and that their sisters aren't either. We all need Jesus, them included. We can do all things through Christ, and that includes forgiving each other. By ourselves however, that is a totally different story.
Will my daughters grow up and dislike each other? I can't see into the future, but if I were a betting woman, I would say that no they won't. I believe the opposite will happen. Part of me wishes that the Sgt. would have kept her opinions to herself, but at the same time it opened up a great conversation about why the Sgt. said what she did. Obviously she and her siblings weren't very interested in caring for each others feelings. They were more interested in the "to each his own," way of life.
Any relationship that has a "me" philosophy will crater, sisters included. My little girls would be no different if I didn't take the time to raise them to step out of their comfort zone and learn how to offer each other the same Grace that Jesus offers them. How can we expect anyone to be perfect when we can't be perfect. That, to me, is just plain silly, and this is how I raise my girls.
So far, so good.