4 Moms on sibling relationships: bullying, arguing, bickering

4 Moms, 35 Kids

If you want to know how to avoid sibling squabbles, I have to confess I don’t have the answer to this question.  We have our share of bickering and bossiness.  I like to think our children are best friends and get along wonderfully, but that doesn’t mean they are perfect.  They bicker and squabble over the most ridiculous things.  They remind me of a couple of other sinners I know, whom the children also happen to look like.

The important thing is that they also admit fault, ask forgiveness, and keep being best friends.  In a coincidence of astounding proportions, this is also a very accurate description of the relationship between me and my sweetheart.

The fact that we don’t set a perfect example doesn’t mean we are allowed or obligated to tolerate or condone strife and contention in others.  It means we need to take the problem all the more seriously, beginning with ourselves but doing our best to nip it in the bud with the children as well.

The Bible has a lot to say about strife, contention, and those who cause it.

Proverbs 10:12 Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all offenses.

Proverbs 29:22 A man of wrath stirs up strife, and one given to anger causes much transgression.

Proverbs 20:3 It is an honor for a man to keep aloof from strife, but every fool will be quarreling.

Proverbs 17:14 The beginning of strife is like letting out water, so quit before the quarrel breaks out.

Proverbs 6:16-19 There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers.

When we correct the kids, we emphasize that one person’s sinful attitude does not justify the sins of another.  We are each responsible for our own sins.  At the same time, when arguments happen I try to impress upon each child that she probably could have ended or defused the situation by exercising humility, and her pride led her sibling deeper into sin as well.

Making Brothers and Sisters Best FriendsBook recommendation: Making Brothers and Sisters Best Friends

Website description:

This painfully honest, hilarious book offers a creative look at how to build relationships between siblings. The goal is not just for brothers and sisters to get along, but to be best friends. Sarah, Stephen, and Grace Mally reinforce, in a fresh and innovative way, the very principles we parents talk about daily with our children. Each sibling wrote a section of every chapter, offering their unique perspective, with riotous personal anecdotes, all related to how the three of them became best friends. We read a few pages every day, and I am always delightfully surprised by how well the children remember and apply what we have read.

See what the other moms are doing about the problem:

  • Smockity Frocks
  • Common Room
  • Raising Olives

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    1. I’d seen the book, Making Brothers and Sisters Best Friends, advertised at Vision Forum, and thought it sounded somewhat interesting. However, I finally bought it last week and WOW! I’m reading it to my 8 year old daughter when she goes to bed at night, and the two of us are loving it. I’m being very convicted by it myself!!

    2. My mom even called our homeschool “Harmony School” and made us pray for harmony each morning, but my sister and I still argued a lot. My sister said I was a little brat and my opinion of her was about the same. We did have a few good memories of each other in childhood.

      But the good thing is – once we didn’t live together anymore, we became really close. I’ve noticed the same thing with my in-laws. Now that the kids are all grown and don’t live together, they get along very well when they are together for holidays. I think as long as you’re doing your best, the situation will improve as they mature.

    3. Your family sounds like mine. Sometimes I want to tear my hair out as the children argue and bicker about the silliest things! But I try to remember those are opportunities to talk about good communication, to forgive, to know when to “overlook a fault” and when to confront. We don’t do it perfectly, FAR from it, but our kids are one another’s best friends. One of the things that delights me is how much our older 3 (ages 12 to 9) ADORE their 1 year old sister. She is one of their favorite people in the world and there is no hint of “she’s an annoying little bratty sister” in their demeanor or words. We have 3 other children ages 7 to 4 and while all the kids have their moments and difficulties, I do see and relish all the love between them. So thankful for that and pray it continues!

    4. Thank you for the book recommendation. I’ve heard about it before but never took the time to look into it further. I will now!

    5. Thank you for being real on this subject, and for the book recomendation, I am going to look it up this evening. I feel like I am failing to foster a loving bond with my two older girls(10 and 7). I really don’t want to raise kids that tolerate each other as adults, I’d like the loving bond to follow them thru life. I definately feel like the only bond my brother’s and I have at this point is our parents, and that makes me sad. (Not to put it off on them, I did move half way across the country when I got married, but I only have one brother that will call me just to gab, and to make sure I get filled in on family medical crisis)

    6. Making Brothers and Sisters Best Friends is by far one of the best books! My family and I went to a convention and meet the Malley’s and listened in on one of their workshops. They are a very sweet family.

    Don't just think it: say it!

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