Our kids need to learn to get along!!! We've declared "Love and Peace (Or Else)" [VibrantHomeschooling.com]

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  1. Lisa, I agree–I don’t think there are guaranteed answers. I tried to convey that in the post. I wish there was because it would be so much easier! The fact is that each kid is different, and each family dynamic is different. So how can we expect one pat solution for everyone? Christ gives us the tools we need (in HIs word) to work out conflicts. I think we just need to continue to be super sensitive to his prompting to know what to say to help our kids get along. It is an EXHAUSTING process, to be sure. I guess I wrote the piece to kind of “break the silence” about it. I’m guessing that every single family in the world deals with conflict, and yet, no one talks about it. My goal was to first say, “hey, we deal with this too,” and then to start some discussion about ideas that might be helpful. We can glean insights from each other! Anyway, thank you again for your transparency and your heart.

  2. Ugh! I wish I had a wonderful guaranteed to work answer for you! We’re dealing with this right now. In fact, I wrote the golden rule on our chalkboard in giant letters recently. My 12 year old constantly picks on her 5 year old brother. And the 5 year old is always upset at the 1 year old for getting to near his things. (I think the 12 year old is often bored and am working with the 5 year old to give him places for legos, snap circuits, etc that are out of reach of the 1 year old.) The other day I lost my temper (yeah – great example!) and told them “You know how painful it was to lose your little sister! How would you like another sibling to die? You need to appreciate each other!” (OK – true but bad timing in saying that judging by their responses.) I am trying to respond EVERY time I hear it start. They have to apologize and ask each other for forgiveness. We do a “re-do” in how they should have done it. And give a consequence. And we’re praying – as a family – every day for them to have a change of heart, because that’s where it must come from.

  3. We hold family meetings too. Anyone can call for one so there are no hard feelings being hidden and waiting to jump out later. Each person has a chance to bring their complaint up w/o anyone else talking (that means mom and dad too). Then the accused has a chance to respond. Same talking rule in effect. After both sides talk and share their stories, mom and dad start to ask questions: Why did you say/do that? How do you think that made [insert child’s name] feel? What would you feel if [insert child’s name] did that to you? Was that nice, fair, honest, etc. for you to do? What should you have done? Why?

    Keep questioning and leading the discussion until both parties realize what “correct,” “proper,” and so forth behavior should be.

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