Cultivating Healthy Sibling Relationships Part 1


Cultivating Healthy Sibling Relationships (Part 1)

One of the desires of our family is to cultivate within our family unit solid sibling relationships. Darren and I realized that these Godly, forever, sibling relationships are a key element, and in order to take it from relationship to friendship we the parent must intentionally train, teach and develop healthy relating.

I mean you hear it all the time,

“My kids fight like cats and dogs.”

“My kids would rather be with their friends then their brother or sister.”

“They are such always at each others throats.”

These sentiments and more are common and “expected” from society. But what does the Bible have for us that teaches us about relationships? And if you stop and think logically, who are the relationships that your child potentially spends the most time with that are forming the way they think of, view, and model friendships/relationships after.

I remember playing basketball and my coach would always say, “You play the game like you practice and you practice like you play.” Signifying that what happens within the home is translated to the “outside world.” We also know this is true when we look at how children behave around the dinner table can be similar to how they would behave at a restaurant. If you wanted well mannered eaters in a restaurant while there are onlookers then we must start in the home.

I am excited to return to the Bible and look at serval traits of having unity within siblings.

“Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!” Psalm 133:1 NKJV

We see that it is GOOD and PLEASANT for siblings to dwell together. And all the moms say, “AMEN!” Think of all the peace that comes within the home when siblings know how to be together in unity, working out their disagreements together and self evaluating if they are being offended and how to deal with it in a healthy way.

There obviously are many steps and training opportunities that we (the parents) must take advantage of, therefore I am breaking this into multiple blog posts/lessons so we can use it like a stair stepper and do one at a time, allowing us to focus and train without being overwhelming or becoming overwhelmed.

LESSON ONE: DON’T BE IN A HURRY TO TELL ON SOMEONE ELSE. This comes from Proverbs 25:8-9 “Do not go hastily to court; for what will you do in the end, when your neighbor has put you to shame? Debate your vase with your neighbor himself, and do not disclose the secret to another.”

Also Matthew 18:15 states,  “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother.” 

There is a huge lesson to be learned here from both of the bible verses. Firstly, we must learn to teach our kiddos the importance of working to resolve conflict first between the two offenders, before bringing in the council of a parent. And secondly, when we are in a hurry to tattle tell on the one who has offended us we also reveal our sinful desires and heart in the matter, and don’t preserve the trust.

Lets take a deeper look into the first point: conflict is difficult and it is easy for us to want to bring others in to our own defense. I bet as adults we can see how this transpires as we share a story with another friend to gain the “support” of what we thought was the right decision. Even if the decision or event we could defend our actions, in order to do that we are displaying someone else’s sin on the table to prove our point. Therefore, are we building up that friend or are we airing their dirty laundry and gossiping? (I sadly know this all too well as I have committed this sin before.) We must show our children how when we are in a hurry to tell on someone else, what we are doing is sharing their sin without them getting an opportunity to repent, AND at the same time we are not following the biblical guidelines of healthy relationships and thus showing our sinful hearts as well.

*** I must give an caveat to this and I do teach my children if someone is being unsafe please come quickly for help and support. There are times when adults must be involved.

Secondly similar to above we must teach when they are quick to tattle tell without first working to solve the problem together what is revealed is the tattle tellers sinful heart. I like to show my young kids a visual to help them see and remember this truth. I ask them to point at something, and I say picture you are telling on someone, shaking your finger at them. Then I ask them to look down at their finger, and tell me what they see. 9/10 times they will say I see the finger pointing at the offender. (a very victim, me centric, their fault, no ownership type of mentality.) I then ask them to tell me where are the rest of your fingers pointing? Excluding the thumb (which we could argue is not a finger), three fingers are pointing back at THEMSELVES. And I share with them, when we are pointing out the sin or wrong doings of someone else we have three times as many fingers pointing back at us showing our sinful intent, that we are trying to get them in trouble, that we are becoming to judge and jury.

**** Another element we should address here, justice is a big thing and it can be confusing to kids (and adults). Phrases like, “it isn’t fair,” or “they should have a consequence for their actions,” are hard to process through, but as we remind our kids that ALL have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Rom 3:23) and deserve punishment (Rom 6:23), we are reminded about grace, forgiveness, mercy and repentance. These traits are displayed in our lives daily and give us an opportunity to recognize and be reconciled back to one another.

Being offended is hard to process, hard to deal with, and hard to learn how to handle. If I am be bold and not shameful in anyway but our world today (society at large) is not great at handling offenses. So therefore there is not a better time than now, and not a better people group than the children within our own homes that God has charged us with, to be able to mold, shape, influence, train, guide and disciple.

I hope you are encouraged and that this allows you to take one step forward to working on and training sibling relationships. Also make sure to keep watch for next week when we enter into part two.

*** I want to thank Doorpost (Doorpost.net) for the trainings I got from them in order to help train my children on these biblical truths. And if you are interested in getting resources (I am not an affiliate just LOVE there products) make sure you head over there, they have a great poster which is quick to refer to.)

Myths about Homeschooling!!

I had the opportunity to share on Facebook about homeschooling and about a statement I hear all the time when I tell people I homeschool, “I don’t have enough patience to homeschool.” As a mom of 5 and a homeschooling momma I cant not tell how crazy this statement makes me feel. You may have heard this comment before or said it yourself, I know I feel like I don’t have enough patience EVERYDAY so I have said it myself!!! So I wanted to share four MYTHS about homeschooling, and work towards debunking some of these misconceptions.

1. One has to have EXTRA patience to homeschool, and some people are not equipped with that kind of patience. Well friends, I am here today to tell you that this statement is COMPLETELY FALSE!!! I know this to be true because I STRUGGLE GREATLY with patience, I am not a patient person. I believe that God has called our family to homeschool NOT because we have extra patience but actually because we are in NEED of GROWING our patience. You know that common joking reminder to people, that if they pray for patience they will not receive patience but instead receive opportunity to grow their patience. That is how I believe homeschooling is, we are  NOT equipped with MORE patience but we GROW in our patience.


2. Everyone who homeschool thinks that the public school systems and teachers are EVIL. This is completely FALSE! In fact, I was a fifth grade elementary teacher in the public school system before I had kiddos and got the chance to be a stay-at-home-momma, so I can tell you loud and clear that this is FALSE! I have met some amazing teachers, assistants, administration, coaches, janitors, and more! I have met people who view the profession as their ministry and feel called to serve the youth of our community! They are truly amazing individuals and are not evil in the slightest. Of course though we are sinful people living in a fallen world so there are some people, teachers and students who are not so great and are not mission-minded, and who live out their sinful desires. Unfortunately that is the reality we live in. So while this is completely false and a myth that we believe the public school system is evil, we also are passionate about the opportunity to be the ones who are the biggest influence on our kids as they are being educated. We as the parents get to be the ones to teach them in a controlled setting while they are young so we can teach, train and disciple. THEN as they grow and are equipped we get to send them out, as we are biblically called to. In fact, as we disciple our kiddos we get to train them to have a biblical worldview which is not the worldview that is accepted in our current age, and what is not being taught in the school system even with the most mission-minded teachers, because to be blunt they could loose their job if they did. My husband and I, through lots of conversation and prayer have decided that the best way for our family to teach a biblical worldview is to do it at home through homeschooling. Does this mean this is not possible to do for those who go to school? ABSOLUTELY FALSE,  YOU CAN STILL TEACH A BIBLICAL WORLDVIEW!! But, Darren and I feel like it is just more difficult to do it when they are out of the house for 6-8 hours in the day being taught a non-biblical worldview, it is just simply hard to find intentional time when they are with you. (BUT DON’T GIVE UP IF YOU ARE NOT HOMESCHOOLING IT DOESN’T MEAN THAT YOU CAN NOT ESTABLISH A WORLDVIEW! JUST GET CREATIVE AND INTENTIONAL!) 

3. The homeschoolers think that they have a better education and are smarter then public schoolers. This is simply NOT TRUE! The truth is that the public school system has some amazing resources, and some REALLY intelligent teachers in their specialties! In fact, Darren (my hubby) was homeschooled the whole way through from kindergarten to High School and can attest that he was so grateful to his parents for homeschooling but there are things he could have been “smarter” in if he went to school, but at the end of the day we all can’t excel in everything, and he got so many opportunities to do other things like: music, swimming, traveling, cooking, gardening, biblical studies, leading, serving, family relationships and more because he was homeschooled. Here is the other MAJOR factor is that each kiddos is DIFFERENT! They each have different strengths and weaknesses. Therefore we are each going to do well in some subjects and not well in others. Both homeschooling parents and public school parents should strive out best to work to NOT comparing our kiddos to others kiddos (easier said than done, I KNOW). Our passion to be raising households that serve the LORD, and help each kiddos to reach their potential that allows them to do this!

4. Homeschool kids are not socialized. (You knew this one was coming right!) Rest assured my friends this is FALSE!! While this was a concern before and could be still a concern today, I would like to point out that this is a concern regardless of educational choices! There are students who I went to school with (I was public school educated) that people were worried  about their “awkwardness” “shyness” “quirkiness” and at the same time Darren (who was homeschooled) saw the same in the homeschooled world. The truth is like I mentioned above we are ALL made differently and while some are outgoing, some are not, and while some are awkward some are … wait …. we are all awkward have you forgotten your middle school teenage years already? If you have, let me remind you: WE. WERE. ALL. AWKWARD!!! Because we were figuring life out! Let’s all give some grace!! I will note that I am super grateful for all the community building opportunities we have now that those before us didn’t have. Homeschoolers today have co-ops, organized homeschool learning groups, the ability to do public sports, online charter schools, social media homeschool momma/kid meet us and more! SERIOUSLY this is such a blessing to us who get the opportunity to homeschooling but desire to walk this journey with others! Bottom line: if you are awkward your kids will probably be awkward because you are socializing your kids to yourself NO MATTER IF THEY ARE HOMESCHOOLED OR NOT! You are helping develop their tastes, interest, likes and dislikes. You are the ones presenting the options of what to watch, do, read, etc. So we ALL should be concerned about socializations. Alright, did I cover and say enough about socialization? Kids = Awkward and we socialize our kids to ourselves regardless of education so really We = Awkward.

I’m sure there are more myths out there just waiting to be debunked but these are my top 4! I want to end by sending so much love and GRACE! If you are currently homeschooling:

If you are not homeschooling but are interested, PLEASE reach out if you have questions. It can be intimidating! But remember this you are not alone, there are so many resources out there and God will equip you not always the way you want Him to but I believe He desires to show and lead you in this journey.

IF YOU DON’T HOMESCHOOL please hear me LOUD and CLEAR: I LOVE YOU! YOU ARE LOVED! THERE IS NO JUDGMENT OR CONDEMNATION! Parenting is hard, but we are commissioned by God to pray and make the best decision for our family. So I would encourage you as parents sit down (or better yet go on a date) and talk about your education decisions for your family. AND if public school is what you both through prayer think is best then guess what: YOU ARE DOING THE RIGHT CHOICE!!! Let the Holy Spirit convict you and guide you in the path of His righteousness! This parenting journey is hard (I KNOW IT!) and we are here for you on this walk!

Here is some fun memes… #sorrynotsorry couldn’t help it 😉

Tea Time Training

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A few weeks ago I felt called to host a parent training tea party. We had some wonderful ladies show up to my house and spent a wonderful morning enriching each others lives. We had some fabulous speakers as well as some question and answer time. Below are the pictures from our event 🙂

In a few months RaisingRices will be hosting another Tea Time Training if you are interested in coming, keep your eyes pealed for that event posted on our FACEBOOK page in the events section.

The topic that were covered in our 4 sessions were:

1: Why are we Training Our Kids?

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2: The Power of Words!

Tea Time Training description session 2

This session will be recorded on a future Podcast! You can follow our RaisingRices podcast by subscribing to follow us here on RaisingRices.com OR you can subscribe on iTunes 🙂

3: The Balancing Act

Tea Time Training description session 3

4: Bringing Creativity and Imagination into Parenting

Tea Time Training description session 4

 

It was truly a wonderful time with some fabulous moms!

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Special thank you to Mary Rabe for taking the beautiful pictures, guest speakers Kathy Rice and Pastor Tammie, and to Sugar Cube Cake Creations for providing the yummy macaroons 🙂

 

 

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