Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Family Ties and the Beach

I've mentioned before how I think that every family should take a road trip to see how their family ties and family relationships are faring. You can see a lot in a 17 day trip in the same car, staying in the same hotel rooms with an occasional stay at family members. You see the good, the bad and the ugly, clearly in very close range. Our family desperately needed the togetherness and mostly we saw great things in our kids and the relationships between the three kids.

When our kids were younger we worked very hard at making sure that they were friends. We made sure they treated each other with respect, talked kindly to each other and loved each other better than they loved themselves. In those early years we stressed that if you could not be kind and loving to your siblings then you were not allowed to have play dates with your friends. We stressed that we are to give our best to our family and our friends. We talk respectfully to each other in our home and if we don't we say sorry. We work out conflict with words and we look for the sin in our own hearts before accusing another. We outlawed tattle telling unless it was a case of personal danger ( we had to put that rule into place because Caileigh was likely to do something crazy and I needed to know). If our kids are having a conflict they know it is better to work it out themselves before Mom has to step in. I usually wait until they clearly can't compromise before I step in but then there serious consequences if Mom has to step in for all involved. Yes, the kids have conflicts and they disagree but they are quick to resolved the issue and move on.

We can see the fruit showing in their relationships with each other. Even squished in a seat, sharing the same room and having only each other to talk and play with for the majority of the vacation, they showed such sweet patience and love with each other.

I saw this shown even as Caileigh was picking out her birthday present. She was trying to decide whether to get a scooter that was pink or one that was black and red. Caileigh chose the black and red one because she wanted to be able to share with her brothers and she didn't want them to look silly on a pink one. We had to get the pink one because it was the only one left, so I told Caileigh that the boys would just have to be secure in their manliness and ride the pink one anyway, but I really appreciated her thoughtful heart.

Do the work early, when they are still in the toddler and pre-school years and you will see the fruit in later years.


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