I hope the school year is going well for everyone!
We make good use of our “Ann Kelly Pants” and “Ella Pants” for school days with all sorts of fun shirts. The “Hunter Tunic” paired with Hannah Kate leggings is for sure one of the easiest and cutest ways to dress for any occasion that might be happening at school. My girls pair it with boots on non-PE days and on PE days they wear their little Keds. Easy movement, and loads of fashion!
One thing we face at our house on a daily basis is sibling rivalry. Mornings, all rushing around, everyone going this way and that – makes for some crazy! Toes get stepped on, feelings hurt, and who has the hair brush and who gets to wear THAT shirt, or WHO finished off the last of the box cereal are just a few things that take place.
I want to encourage you to stay positive! Consistency in reminding our children the benefits of being best friends is key! Here are ten things I strive to do to encourage harmony in our home:
1. We hold short, but informative family meetings on the subject of loving each other and accepting each other’s differences. I share the rewards for getting a long, and the consequences if rivalry is their choice of behavior.
2. Keep things humorous! Kids watch our example of course! If we are complaining, picky, snap at them or our spouse, kids will indeed do the same. Laugh more, be positive, speak LIFE GIVING words.
3. We love sports at our house. My desire is to foster a positive team spirit in our family. When a fight breaks out I remind them, “Hey guys, we’re on the same team! No team wins when they are all fighting with each other!” Encourage this from an early age! I know from experience that in time, they will begin to view each other as invaluable teammates.
4. Teach kids they have individual rights and should respect the rights of others. Start young – this is an awesome attribute for any individual to understand and have.
5. Encourage compassion vs. judgment. Our walk will speak louder then our talk in this area, but if we live this out, our kids will do the same with each other. Sibling judgment carries into adulthood and never brings about sibling harmony.
6. Teach and live by example: ignore “smallies” – and address the biggies. So many squabbles are over small things that really don’t matter. Teach children that life is not about having everything their way. Life doesn’t work like that in the long run. Give them parental guidance in realizing that getting upset and angry over small things doesn’t bring about solid, encouraging relationships.
7. Do not allow “put downs!” If we allow put downs in our family, seriously, I’m not sure we are doing our job as a parent. This is allowing bullying in your own home. One thing we do is take turns when riding in the car or at the dinner table, each child saying something positive about the person sitting next to them. Amazing what this does for family love!
8. Teach your children that life is not fair. Children should be treated individually, not equally. There is no way in the world as a mom I can always be “fair.” When our children understand our love and that life is not going to be fair, jealousy and rivalry is less of an issue. Remember you are preparing your kids for life and life never treats us all fairly and equally. If children can understand this early on, I promise you, they will be more peaceful, content children who will have security.
9. DO NOT COMPARE. This just causes inferiority in our children and will always bring about behavior within siblings that is less then desirable. Each child is special! Each child is unique. Daily encourage your children to love this about each other! I have four daughters who are very different from each other — if I allow comparison to be apart of our family life, I will destroy their desire to love each other and accept each other.
10. Yes, be a referee. This means you are going to be involved in their fights. It’s exhausting at times, I know! But in the long run, you will reap sibling peace! Most importantly never allow sibling abuse ~ physically, emotionally, or verbally. You are preparing them for adulthood and how they will be in future relationships and what they will accept in future relationships. Let’s do our job well!
Sometimes I just have to sit my girls down and remind them of this: siblings are forever. Friends will come and go, but what they have right here, right now, in our home, it has the potential to be forever friendships that will surpass all other relationships. I tell them, “Girls, the world can be mean and hard, but this home, our home, it’s meant to be a safe place. We don’t say mean things, and put each other down, or leave each other out ever – because this place is a safe place and I am going to ensure that it stays that way!”
One thing that I truly love about Hannah Kate Collections is the ability I have as a mother to encourage that “team spirit” even in their dress. Sometimes they love to dress just like each other. Other times, they don’t want to at all. I have so loved that combinations of clothing and fabrics to allow their individuality and at the same time, when they go to school, there is no doubt they are On The Same Team!
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