It was a special moment captured luckily just because I had the phone out taking a different picture a few minutes before. A 10 year old brother loving his 1 year old brother. Caleb and Noah – the little brother for whom Caleb prayed, unbeknownst to us :)
But to say we are grateful would be an understatement. We can’t imagine life at the Dukes house without Noah’s smile and charm.
And Caleb can’t have imagined another female (he has 3 sisters). :)
With five kids, we actually work hard at cultivating for healthy relationship between the siblings. It is not easy. Two practices we have seen that have been impactful so far:
:: don’t allow for tattle tales unless the siblings have tried to work it out without any progress or unless one of them is in serious danger. We have to coach them at times in working it out, but this is a good thing. After all, we must raise our kids to love others enough to confront and resolve conflict. It is one essential of loving relationships. It is one component of a forgiving culture. And to not cultivate for this implies that you are okay with relationships that stifle rather than sharpen.
:: encourage siblings to pray together, especially when resolving conflict. It is a beautiful thing to listen in on their respective perspectives as they do. Coach them to keep it simple and relational inviting Jesus to grow them and help them as they learn to love each other. Coach them also not to pray for the other to be different, but instead for their own sensitivity and growth.
What about you guys? Those of you who are parents, what have you done to cultivate for healthy and growing sibling relationships? Please share in the comments that we may all grow in wisdom together.