Don’t Like___. Do Like___.

Sibling frustrations can often be overwhelming. In my home, not only do we experience natural sibling rivalry, but we are also still learning how to blend our family together. Negativity and insults seem to be more prevalent than ever, especially with the whole trend of “roasting” (I’ll save that topic for another post). So, how do we, as parents, maintain our cool and get the constant arguing to stop? By planning ahead and being aware of our own behavior.

In my experience, I’ve found that team building and TBRI (trust based relational intervention) work like a charm. But it takes a lot of work and consistent, intentional effort from the parents. Here’s a little idea that worked in our home:

As I prepared dinner, I found myself surrounded by boy insanity. I decided to take the reins and manage the conversation while we ate. This activity started by explaining that we were each going to say one thing we don’t like that each of the others do. “I don’t like it when you _______”, careful to say things that could be worked on, not personal attacking things.

Once we all had a chance to express what we don’t like, we followed it with what we do like. “I do like it when you _______”, sharing things that remind us why we love each other.

Of course, in typical boy fashion, it turned into jokes and fun. But when it was all said and done, we all realized a few things. One, it’s okay to calmly tell each other if we don’t like something. Two, we all already seemed to know what pushes the other person’s buttons. And lastly, that talking positively is a habit that requires work, just like talking negatively is a habit that’s become too common.

We get to choose what kind of mindset to live in. We get to choose what kind of environment we want in our home. And we are capable of working towards the mindset and environment we want. But it takes work. A lot of work.

Parents, let’s be intentional with our effort. Let’s learn new ways to encourage our kiddos. And let’s lead them in the way to go, setting the example as we go.

What activities do you do in your home?