In my opinion, being a referee is probably one of the most exhausting parts of being a parent. I love having boys, and I love that they are so close in age. Building and playing in forts, dog piling, playing in the dirt are all things this mama loves doing with her boys. What I don't love? The constant competition between them, the fighting over toys, hurting each other on purpose. No kidding, Ezra busts out in tears at least 40 times every day. They really do love each other and play together greatly, but they do the thing where they play and then they fight. And then more playing and more fighting. Play, fight, play, fight. It can get tiring trying to deal with that a billion times a day. I'm find myself thinking that I should just let them duke it out. They are boys after all.
We are constantly trying to teach Jude how to be kind to his little brother, and to his friends. Anyone who thinks people are inherently good has not had little kids. Jude can be flat out mean. No one had to teach him this, but his mean side most definitely comes out, and more times than I'd like to admit.
I've been praying for Jude and with him that God would help him to be more kind. It sometimes seems like we're getting nowhere. There are many days I get discouraged, so discouraged that I want to just give up all together. But then I came across this book today:
I have no idea who gave us this book or where it came from, but I've seen it around our house and have never taken the time to read it to Jude. I don't know why, honestly. We read tons of books from the library, but we don't read much of our own, for some reason.
But I'm so glad I read this to him. This book is so cute! It's about the little boy (Seedling) and how he's mean to his kitty cat and the cat runs away to hide from him. But at the end, he learns how to be sweet to the kitty and they become snuggly friends. And at the very end of the book, it has a verse that I wrote on our white board that I will remind Jude of every time he is mean to his brother, or to anyone else.
"Let your gentleness be evident to all." Philippians 4:5
I am so encouraged by this answer to prayer, that the Lord gave me this to help in training and teaching both of them. Maybe this will help keep a little more sane too. What do you think? How about you mamas out there? How do you teach your children to be kind and gentle to others?