When Siblings Fight…

carson and anna no riceIt is easy to get caught up in the challenging moments.  The moments that make you want to pull your hair out and lock yourself in your room, but when you have a really awesome moment, well, that rocks your socks off.

Today my kids were fighting over who got to go with Dad in his truck. It was early still, I’d only had one cup of coffee when my son hit my daughter.  She pushed him back, he hit her harder, she cried, and by the time I got there my daughter, 2, was  trying to retaliate again.  I stopped her and instead offered her my lap and just let her cry.  My son, 5, told me what happened and why he did it.  I said “You both really want to go with dad.”  They both nodded.  I consoled my daughter who was still crying.  My son looked at his sister and said “I’m sorry, A. Will you forgive me?”  A resounding and high pitched “NO!” was given in response, which sent him into a fit of tears. I sympathized with him, “She’s not ready.  She’s still upset.”

My son disappeared while I held my crying daughter on my lap, and as the crying quieted down my son came in with her favorite bunny.  He gently handed it to her and she smiled faintly.  I opened up one of my arms to him and he sat down next to his sister, his head against hers.  After a moment, she turned to him, stretched out her arms and he leaned in to accept her hug of forgiveness.  They sat there with me for several long moments intertwined in each others arms and I felt such tenderness towards them.

Then my son tilted his sweet little head up to me and said “Mommy, you stink.  I think you should go brush your teeth.”  My daughter nodded in agreement “Yeah Mama, you do.”  And that was that.



If you want to learn more about fostering empathy you might also like:

3 Words You Should Say to Your Children by Emily Plank, Abundand Life Children

You’ll Be Sorry- Children and Apologies by Janet Lansbury, Elevating Childcare

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