Speaking with a mom the other night she was sharing how two of her oldest children were struggling to get along. A common problem. The sister had been hen-pecking her brother to death and he was about fed up. Mom responded by telling sis she needed to let up on her brother. Seems like a simple, reasonable answer…
Not so fast.
Parents, it is often times more important to figure out WHY one sibling seemingly has it out for another, than it is just to stop the bickering. You have to learn to ask the right questions and listen carefully to the answers without jumping in to defend or rebuff. The goal is to have adult children who still want to spend time together around the Thanksgiving table, adult siblings who truly love one another…not to survive parenthood with as little conflict and as quietly as possible. If you watch from afar how the siblings really treat one another, talk to and about each other, and if you make sure to be a fair and equitable discerner of their motivations, you will mostly find that when one sibling has HAD IT with another, it usually means there is fire where you smell smoke.
Don’t be so quick to silence the bickering that you build a quiet house where there is no true peace. Think it through instead and ask the Lord to give you wisdom on what questions to ask and how to really hear what is being said. It’s the only way to make sure that 20 years from now every seat is filled at your family’s holiday dinners.