My children have not been getting along very well lately. The three year old is mean to the seven year old (pinching, hitting, knocking toys over). The seven year old is overly concerned with fairness ("Why doesn't she have to...") and quite impatient with her little sister. I have had enough.
The act of serving those outside the family is considered "good citizenship." So what is serving those inside your own house called? Love. They need to know how to love each other. I don't think this just happens naturally. I grew to love both of my sisters over the years. But growing up, no one could make me madder faster! I've heard myself sounding like my mother..."That is your sister." As if that explains everything to them.
I will be working on this one. I don't expect them to always get along and run to hug each other every morning when they get up, but I do expect them to treat each other at least as well as they treat their friends. Really, it's more than that. I want them to reflect God's love in their lives. I want them to have servant attitudes towards others. I want them to be concerned for each other.
When I quit work and we are all home together this summer, it should be interesting. Just having to live with each other minute after minute will change their relationship. Seeing me lovingly react to the other child will convince them that the other is lovable. Being involved in activities together will grow them closer together.
It makes me wonder, has separating them day after day affected their relationship? Does my 7 year old get impatient with her little sister because she spends all her time with other 7 and 8 year olds? It will be interesting to see what homeschooling does to their relationship.
It's just one of my goals. And one of the reasons I'm so eager to get back home. I think, really, that homeschooling is a bit like marriage. I can imagine how it's going to be, but I won't know until I actually get there. Anyway, children who love each other better is one thing I'm hoping for.