I hope my kids are great friends with each other when they grow up.
My own brother and I live far away from each other, and don't talk nearly as often as I would like. Neither of us are big phone talkers, and he doesn't use email - my primary connection mechanism!!! I have high hopes that together my mom and I can talk him into visiting Lubbock around Christmastime. Prayers that he'll make a visit are appreciated! He's just not much of a traveler. When we were little, and had to travel the 15 minutes from our hometown to Tulsa, he would pout and protest like we were driving to California.
Anyway - the point I was trying to make is that right now, my kids think of each other as best friends. I know as they grow they'll find strong friendships outside of each other, and their closest friendships will be peers who share common interests, but I hope they will keep in mind that they will always have each other. Friends may come and go, but family you're stuck with. Ha! We're still navigating how to help them foster strong love and commitment to each other. Any advice from those of you with strong relationships with your siblings is welcome. Do you think anything your parents did or didn't do played a role?
It warms my heart when I see my kids thinking of each other above themselves, and independently coming up with ways to show love to each other. Granted, they are 7, 6, and 4 - so occasions of self-sacrifice can be few and far between. But when it does happen, it brings a smile to my face for weeks!
At the boys' school, they earn "Pirate Bucks" as a positive behavior reward system. (Pirates are the school mascot.) Then they have a chance to visit the "Pirate Store" and spend their money on toys or other rewards.
Ryan chose to save up $50 pirate bucks to purchase a "free lunch pass" to sit wherever he wanted at lunch. He passed up buying toys or trinkets for several weeks, diligently saving his bucks. The lunch pass he bought could be used to sit wherever he wanted in the lunch room; he could choose to sit with his teacher, or sit with a friend in a different second grade class, etc.
But Ryan decided to surprise his brother, and use his hard earned pass to sit with Dylan at the Kindergarten table. Dylan was so excited!!! I love it. Just love it. Jonathan and I didn't even know about Ryan's plan until it had already be executed.
Of course later that day they nearly came to blows while playing Wii together. But for the purposes of this sappy blog entry, let's just focus on the positive, shall we?
I've never even met Ryan and I just want to give him a big squeeze. What a sweetheart. It is so hard to believe Dylan is six. I remember a blog post of yours in which a 3-year-old Dylan poured his milk down the sink b/c he wanted a different cup....or maybe he didn't want milk at all...anyway, it made me laugh so hard. He is growing into such a handsome little guy.
Your kids are too adorable. I think you are doing so much to foster that love that they have for each other already. One thing we have done with our kids is let them have a slumber party in Jonah's room every Friday night. We pack breakfast for them and leave it on the table in his room after they fall asleep, so when they wake up, they have breakfast with just the two of them and then they play for quite a while. (This also allows mom and dad to sleep in a few extra minutes on Sat morning. Sneaky, yes.) Anyway, they love it and LIVE for Friday nights.
Jonah had Awana store at Awana last night and purposely used some of his Awana bucks to purchase something for Hannah since her Cubbies class doesn't do the store. Hannah always saves half of her cookie from Awana Cubbies so she can give some to Jonah since his class doesn't get cookies. It is precious.
Of course, they also have their not so precious moments as well. This morning Hannah asked for a sister. I told her she has a brother. Her response, "I know, but he's so annoying."
I think I might need to write my own "siblings" blog post. Sorry for the book of a comment. I didn't start out to write so much.
Happy Birthday Dylan!!
I read this article in "Parents" magazine and LOVED the ideas & since it goes along w/what ur saying I will share :)
Pick a day to help kids celebrate their brother or sister. Here are some cute ways they can show their appreciation:
*A BEDROOM BLAST~nothing says "i love u" like balloons & streamers. Work with each child to give their sibling's room a makeover of epically fun proportions.
*SOUL FOOD~assign each child a meal, & let him act as your sous-chef to prepare his sibling's favorite eats. Fashion a little toothpick flag to stick in the dish that says "Made w/love from your brother."
*DO ME A FAVOR~Help kids create coupons for each other. Have them dictate various vows: "I'll make ur bed" or "you can go first in Candy Land." Type them out & let the kids decorate them.
*READY TO WEAR~Using ink-jet iron-ons (or fabric paint) make tees for the little ones that read "I heart (symbol) my brother/sister...Can u say photo op??? :)
The story about Ryan and lunch brought tears to my eyes -- that is a precious memory. Especially in about 10 years when they're fighting over who gets to take the car on Friday night.
Last year we did something that was not ground breaking, but the boys really liked: They each get money every week for doing their "jobs" around the house, usually 3 quarters. After they give a quarter to God, they can put the rest in their banks to save up for a new toy. However, around October/November they start saving up to buy their brother a toy, which they wrap and give on Christmas morning. They were both so proud to present their brother with a gift they'd brought and picked out themselves.
Sweetest post ... made me tear up a bit that Ryan saved up pirate bucks to eat with his brother - and I don't even know them!
I wish I had some advice about siblings being close. My brothers and I are pretty close but it came about due to some difficult family situations, so I wouldn't recommend that! :)
Looks like you are doing a pretty good job though!