Something you should know.
To better understand me and my life.
Sometimes raising my five kids is a
Melanie recently emailed me:
How do you handle sibling squabbles? Are you constantly jumping up from something you are doing to intervene during hitting/name-calling/yelling/pushing/not-sharing, etc, or do you just ignore them and make them work it out themselves?
Good questions, huh?
I will start by saying that, overall, my kids get along quite well. On an average day, we don't have much fighting. (This of course goes out the window if they're tired, randomly emotional, or if any combination of grandparents is visiting. But usually they do well.)
But let me explain the cats thing.
Our family's dynamic, for some reason, is such that my kids play all together, all day long. In other words, they want to be together. All.the.time. All five of 'em. Which can lead to a herd mentality, and assorted arguments and fights and mischief. (God's cure for the Tower of Babel? Brilliant idea. Brilliant.)
no excluding other kids
no name-calling or yelling
I am also big on a child having alone time and space if they desire it, especially since there are seven of us living here and the kids share rooms. If Anna wants to be alone to read? She can go in her room, or in my room. (Rarely though do they choose to separate from the group.)
It's normal for kids living together to fight and shout and experience tension on a regular basis. I think the home is the most challenging--and amazing--training ground for living a virtuous life. Where better to learn charity towards others, or how to pursue peace?
But sometimes they fight. And sometimes act like a herd of cats. Of course I'm a mama, so I love them anyway. And I'm seeing more and more what amazing gifts they are to each other, that the virtues they build and the lifeskills they learn--living as a family and looking to the common good--are more than worth the arguments and tears.
Thanks for asking!