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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Sibling Hero or Taunter

Why do older siblings think it is their responsibility to antagonize their younger siblings?  This was the question I was asking myself after several days of hearing my oldest daughter taunt and tease her two youngest brothers.  Yes, it was driving me crazy and I was tired of hearing them raising their voices telling her to stop and to leave them alone.  I knew down deep in her heart she was just playing with them and not intending to create ill feelings between them but I also could see that her daily taunting and teasing was in no way making her their hero.

I knew it was time for a mother daughter chat in which I was prepared to hear her explain to me that she was just having fun and I did not need to worry about her actions causing ill feelings.  Thus I began my chat with asking her to make one goal over the next few days.  She looked at me puzzled thinking we are on vacation spending our days at the lake why would goal setting be necessary now.  I explained that I the mom was going crazy hearing the taunting and teasing.  My desire was for  her to become their hero not their taunter.

After our short discussion of my asking her to make it a goal over the next few days to not taunt and tease but to serve and use encouraging words we parted ways to begin our day.  I wondered if she would take me up on this goal. Over the next few days my wondering ceased as I saw my daughter choose to become their hero by encouraging them in their accomplishments, by helping them when in need, by allowing them to choose their favorite movie to watch and the list goes on.

Sure there will still be times of taunting and teasing it is what older siblings do – however I believe they also want to be heir younger siblings heroes so taking those few minutes to have a mother daughter chat asking my daughter if she wanted to be known as the hero sister or the taunting sister has ceased the voice raising around here and a hero is in the making instead.

My parenting lesson of the week was to not lecture but approach with concern, to not demand change but challenge it with a goal.

What parenting lesson have you learned this week?



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