Sunday, September 21, 2008

Working it Out...

When my children were younger and didn't get along, I would do a few different things to "encourage" them to get along better:

1.  I NEVER separated them -- that is not the "real world."  I knew that when they got older and didn't get along with a co-worker, no one would "separate" them but they NEED to learn to get along.  SO I put them in a very small enclosed place:  the bathroom or a walk-in closet even!  Then sometimes I had to stand outside the door if they needed a little "supervision"!  They had to work out a way to get along better, then come out holding hands and tell me their plan of action.

2.  If someone was getting "easily irritated" with someone else, since God's love is NOT "easily irritated," I assumed they hadn't invested enough into that person's life.  (Going by the principal that "where you treasure or deposit is, there will your heart be also" - Luke 12.34)
So I would have them do things specifically for the other person.

3.  When age appropriate, I would have them write a page or two paper listing a better way they could have handled the situation, why it wasn't handled correctly, and putting two Bible verses in regarding why their actions were wrong.  This made for some GREAT "keeper" papers!

Although these things took time, I was able to handle them systematically and without losing my cool.  Through these processes, my children learned how to handle problems effectively with other people.  It made a huge difference not only in how they handled problems between each other, but with other people as well.

Challenge:  As you handle problems amongst your children or with others, be sure that the way you demonstrate and teach your children how to handle the problems are ways they can build on as they get older!  Also guard against "punishment" -- you don't want to "punish" your child, but you want to train and teach them the correct way to handle situations in their lives.

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