As I write this, in my brothers’ room, I can hear many sounds. Not the ocean, the birds chirping, or calming music… oh, no no no…
Instead I hear little people just being generally loud because kids have three volumes- Loud, Loudest, and Asleep. Blocks are tumbling. Toy cars are drifting around the living room. Mom is trying to homeschool 3 children in 3 different grades at the same time, and the washing machine is making noises like it’s about to blast off…
Houston, we have a problem.
In all the chaos, how do I keep my sanity???? How do I possibly live my life with 8 younger brothers constantly up in my space, messing with my stuff, being loud, and generally annoying my life???
I’ve found zen… calm in the storm… A peaceful frame of mind… And here’s how I got here. Are you ready to hear a profound solution??
I can see that my siblings are people too. Therefore, I choose to build a relationship with those little people.
Oh snap. Mind blown!
Hold on y’all, one of the little boys is crying his eyes out…. one sec.
Okay, he’s good now. Fighting over dominos… classic.
So why does this simple fact work for me? How does this method help me handle my siblings instead of strangling them?
When I realize that my siblings are each a unique, special, complex little human with feelings and flaws, I’m able to put it in perspective. I no longer see them as an annoyance or source of bother. That doesn’t mean they aren’t annoying (Heaven knows that they can be).
All it means is that I’ve learned to put myself in their shoes when they want me to play dominos and I’m trying to write a blog post. I think about how I would feel if my big sister snapped at me just because I wanted to hang out with her at an inconvenient time.
I’d be pretty let down.
Kids have a special way about them They see the world in a happier light than us adults do. They want every opportunity to spend time with us and be happy.
If I snap at them, it crushes their spirit. Trust me, I know. I’ve snapped at all of them many times. More times than I’d be comfortable admitting. You can see the sparkle in their eye turn into a tear of disappointment. They didn’t deserve it. All they wanted was to spend time with me and hang out with Big Sissy.
The best way to make your siblings become more annoying is for you to snap at them. The little innocence in their eyes will turn into resentment. They’ll no longer want to do nice things with you or for you. You basically turn them against you every glare you give them. Every harsh word you jab at them to get them to go away.
Eventually they will go away. But they’ll end up hating you.
You’re destroying a relationship with the very ones you lo-
Hold on the kids have a story to tell me. Oh yeah, such an interesting story about how one of them accidentally broke something that belongs to me…. yay…
Where was I…. Oh yeah!
You’re destroying a relationship with the very one(s) you should love the most!
Ever since I’ve looked at my siblings in this new light, I’ve been able to build quality relationships with them. The little kids are some of my favorite playmates and the older ones are some of my best friends. They’re typically the ones I go bowling, golfing, and roller skating with. I play Mario Cart more than the average girl just because I choose to spend time with my siblings doing things they enjoy. And who doesn’t love Mario Cart?
Making my siblings happy is probably one of the highest sources of joy I have. They don’t annoy me very much anymore because I’ve built a relationship with them. They can tell when I’m busy (usually) and don’t bother me too much because they respect me and they know that Sissy will play with them when she’s done cooking, cleaning, or working on the blog.
Stinky blog, taking up so much potential “play time”. haha
If you’ll take the time to do the things that your siblings want to do, you’ll build that relationship to where they respect you enough to let you take care of the things you need done. They’ll respect you, your stuff, and your time. Eventually they’ll share their heart with you and you’ll have the responsibility and joy of counselling them with the wisdom you’ve gained from lessons you had to learn at their age.
Make friends with them the same way you make friends with others- Quality time and kindness!
Also, try incorporating them into your routine.
Have a room to clean? Make it a game where they can help too.
Doing homework? Have them try to solve that Math problem (Then they’ll go away when
they discover that what you’re doing is lame).
Are you cooking dinner? Let them help with the stirring and taste testing.
Have to go feed a dog that your dog-sitting? Take them along and let them help.
If you’re a younger sibling… I’ve never been a younger sibling. But I do know, as the oldest of nine kids, that if you respect their privacy and time, and continue to smile at them and go out of your way to be kind to them, they’ll come around. You gotta go for the conscience….
Don’t lose your joy just because big sister or brother is a jerk and don’t lose your mind if all the kid wants to play is Hot Wheels or whatever little girls play with these days… I’ve never had a little sister.
Keep working at it, you’ll never regret working towards a quality relationship with your siblings! Friends will come and go, but siblings are forever. Don’t ruin it!
Now if you’ll excuse me, I promised the littles that we would bake chocolate chip cookies before nap time… and we have a craft scheduled too!