A Day in the Life 11: Sisters
It has been a rough week for my girls. Issac has been little helper boy and helping anyway he could “so I would feel better”. The girls, on the other hand, were stressed and showing it by hitting, punching, biting, snarling, shrieking, and whatever other nasty behavior would allow them to release their frustration at each other.
Shamus and I do not come from families with two girls. It comes as a bit of shock to find that girls are nastier to each other than boys. Mind you all three spend most of their time together, you may even call them best friends, and in general they get along. Just not this week.
In our household, physical violence for emotional offenses are forbidden. In fact, physical violence is forbidden, period. This includes sitting upon the other person because that has been a big problem in the past. So, after a week of disciplining the girls for injuring each other and reminding them that we expect them to love one another and treat each other the way we treat them, when Rachel hauled off and punched her sister in the stomach I had had enough. (She still bore the bruise from being bit yesterday by Esther so Esther didn’t get much sympathy.)
Sending them to their rooms hadn’t done the trick. Removing all forms of entertainment hadn’t done the trick. Adding housework hadn’t done the trick. So, today the rule is that the girls cannot be near each other. They are not allowed within arms reach (originally they had to maintain separate rooms at all time which was very interesting but made things a bit hard for everyone else as well).
They found this devastating. It was shocking to see how devastating the idea that they could not touch each other was. Suddenly they were being kind. Suddenly they were thinking of what the other might want or need or be blessed by. It was amazing. They made little I’m sorry/I love you cards for each other. They went out of their way to serve each other and love each other.
We will see how long it lasts but maybe, just maybe, they are getting what “love one another” means.