Monday, October 29, 2012

Just Be Nice

My oldest really really loves his trucks and his trains.  He borrowed a giant dump truck from his cousin yesterday and when I checked his monitor, I found him snuggled up with it in bed.  Now that is love.  But there is no bigger threat to the safety of his trucks and trains than his little brother.  

I see my big guy working so hard to be kind to him all the time.  He helps him when his little push cart gets stuck, he shares his lunch with him and kisses him before bedtime.  He really and truly loves him.  That is until my youngest gets a hold of one his precious trucks or trains.  I know immediately when it happens because I hear a desperate, "NOOOOOO!!!!  HE'S HURTING MY TRAINS!!!  STOP IT!!!"  I rush in the room, take stock of the situation and then try to guide him.  I say things like, "I know it must be so frustrating when he interferes.  Next time, set-up your track on the train table so that he doesn't get it."  or  "If it's on the floor, he can play too.  Pushing and yelling are not ok.  Next time let's use kind words and hands."  Each and every day I work with him on how to handle it when his brother suddenly barrels over a track that he has meticulously built or when he throws one of his trucks like it's a ball.  And each and every day I think, please, just be nice to him today.

Today our sermon was on the golden rule.  Perfect timing, right?  Here it is in case you, like me, need a refresher:


"So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets." (Matthew 7:12)

Our pastor talked about how simple it really is to be a good person and a true follower of Jesus.  He shared that we make it so difficult when we have so many rules about who is "doing religion right" when all we are asked to do is treat others like you would want to be treated.

Sometimes I feel as if the sermons speak right to my heart and this was one of those times.  I get overwhelmed with the task of teaching my children how to be kind and to respect one another.  I should be overwhelmed.  It is a huge task.  A lot of adults (including me at times) make exceptions for when we will be nice.  My oldest is not different than many of us.  We think things like, "I will be nice to him...until he messes with me," or  "I will be understanding...unless it interferes with what I want."  If I can teach them both to overcome this selfish impulse, I will be giving them and the world such a gift.  I will fight that battle every day of my life by trying to be the very best example and guiding them when they need it.  

I'm going to write this passage on our little chalkboard this week and we're going to spend some time talking about it. Maybe when he sees that even Mommy has to work on it sometimes, we'll keep each other on the right track (and be nicer to his brother when he messes with his).

How do you help teach your children to respect each other's space as well as share?

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