This has been a better way to deal with sibling spats than pulling my hair out. (: They seem to go in cycles – our kids will get along beautifully, and then all of a sudden, a storm hits and the bickering explodes. So this morning, I brought out that dusty MARBLE JAR.
When the disciples argued along the road, Jesus intervened and offered them wise words. So, I gathered my kiddos and shared some verses about peace and loving each other (the verses are below).
I told them that every time they pushed for peace and calmness instead of bickering, they’d get a marble. I reiterated that it’s fine to get mad and upset at times, but if they chose to react with peace, kindness, and calmness instead of harsh words, then Bam! they get a marble. I’ll say something like, “Great job (their name) reacting kindly and pushing for peace, instead of arguing! Go get a marble.” When the jar is full, we’ll go out for ice cream.
You can make the jar for whatever you’re currently dealing with (my one rule is that they can’t ask for a marble). My goal is not to create superficial reactions, but to hopefully spark a habit of peace, kindness, and calmness in their words that becomes more and more natural. And sometimes we, and our kids, just need a jump-start.
While fighting is a reality amongst siblings, the more we squash it, the better, for both our sanity and theirs. I don’t expect all spats to be squashed, but if we can teach better reactions, and thus better arguing, then we will all have better relationships and better days. Cheers to that! You got this!!!
“…Be at peace with each other.” Jesus (Mark 9:50)
“Calmness can lay great offenses to rest.” (Ecclesiastes 10:4)
“Love each other as I have loved you.” Jesus (John 15:12)
“Jesus asked, ‘What were you arguing about?’ But they kept quiet because they were arguing about who was the greatest. Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, ‘If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all.’” Jesus (Mark 9:33-35)