10 March 2006

Sibling Non Rivalry

Brother and Sister in arms.
Like most parents we are always evaluating whether we do the right things by our children. Luckily, as homeschoolers, we get to know all the children pretty well as we are together most of the time.
We have avoided the morning "off to school" chaos, the quiet day with just the littlest children, the "home from school" grumps, the homework challenge and the multiple extra curricular activities.

Instead, we arise at roughly the same time (although I often have to leave at the crack of dawn to visit clients), have breakfast, the children do their schoolwork with Lana, Lunch is around 1.00pm to 2.00pm or so, some extra reading or school stuff for the older children and play time until we have dinner together as a family. All this time together has meant the children get to know us and each other and we are able to understand them.
Fights and disagreements, when they occur, get resolved quickly and life moves on. There is really no choice.
Sibling Rivalry is a term we often hear of, but have not really experienced. The photo above was taken on a recent walk. This wasn't a set shot.
The boys play together in some things, the girls do their own activities and they all do group activities without our promptings. (See Family Vows and Why We Homeschool other group activity shots.)
We enjoy family outings - even shopping trips! Our travelling in the US with eight of us crammed in a Suburban for trips over 3,000 miles were fun (see the side links for trip reports). We listened to audio books together, shared experiences, met great people, experienced car break downs and generally "bonded".
Bonding is a direct result of Love (Spelled T-I-M-E). That time spent together is not a tactic for familial harmony. It is a way of life where the ones who give themselves receive love in return.

No greater love has a man that gives his own life for another.

To the greater child-free world, parenthood and family life makes little sense. But the rewards are here and now. Time with our family has been our best return on investment.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The first time I let my daughter go play down at a friend's house (the only girl in this whole town...not a lot of opportunity), my two year old sat at the window and waited for her. He kept asking when his sister would come back! When she gets disciplined, he looks at me with his stern little voice and says, "You no put ... in time out!" Of course, he gets his own little time out for talking back, but it is kind of cute...