Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Teaching Peace

When Kris and I decided to have our boys so close together, we could only see how sweet it would be for them to be best friends and play together all day long. I had images of them being like little puppies, wiggling around together, cuddled up in a pile together on the couch. I guess I forgot about the term "dog fight". Oh, they are puppies, all right. And they pile up together. Unfortunately, Luke is always on top. He's beating Eli up on a regular basis now. As long as Luke is just laying on top of him, Eli laughs like it's the best thing ever. Eli seems to love it until Luke gets really worked up and gets too rough. Luke doesn't have an "off" button, unfortunately. He just gets more and more revved up until body slams are inevitable. I don't mind this when it starts out fun. I just have to give a time out. It's when it begins because Luke is irritated about having to share or just about having Eli around.

But in Luke's defense, Eli is the master button-pusher. He knows exactly what things will tick Luke off, and he is very intentional about doing those things. He will sneak up and take Luke's lovie and shake it to make sure Luke knows he has it. He loves stealing Luke's cup and drinking out of it. He has to make sure, though, that Luke sees him drinking out of it or it will just get tossed to the ground. I know that he really just wants action and interaction with Luke, not to make Luke angry. I guess he's just figured out this is one way to get Luke to chase him.

I don't remember us fighting as kids. I think we knew that if we got caught Mama would put us to work, so we kept our fights very quiet. So help me out here. How do I teach Luke (not quite three) and Eli (14 months) to love each other? How do I teach them to prefer each other over themselves. Is it possible to teach peace at their young age?

They do enjoy each other, when they're not tyring to kill each other or, at the very least, annoy the heck out of each other. They play well together for the most part. I just would like to alleviate, if possible, my biggest struggle in my day. Hah, like the "Easy" button on that commercial. Any ideas that work for you?


KateVonGlahn said...

No comments yet. Hmmm, does that mean that no one really knows?

Anna said...

Not remembering is one of God’s little humors…if we remembered, we wouldn’t have children! Mark and I were the ones that would wrestle until one of us got hurt and then “Mama Claire” would have to separate us! But, I loved it!!! Some of my best memories come from those days of having a taste of “siblings.” Of course, your siblings may be under a different opinion…I hope they didn’t cringe when they saw me coming!! Preferring the other – this is definitely an ongoing thing. They will go from being physical to fighting with their words – which I would sometimes just like them to stick with the punches, kicks and body slams. Harsh, hurtful words seem to penetrate to the core. The redness from a good slap goes away a lot more quickly! I totally think you have the right idea when you say “teach.” When is the last time you and Kris had a good wrestle in front of the boys??? And then ended with a good hug and kiss before “it went too far”??? Showing them that you can play and loving end the playing before it gets too rough? Just a thought…
Oh - even at their young age – let them work it out as best they can. I guess what I’m trying to say is see what happens if you don’t rescue the cup… See what they will do if mom doesn’t intervene. Then over and over again, however many times it takes, recreate the scenario, showing them how you want them to respond and make them act it out until they “get it.” Then once they do it right – praise them for it. No one knows your children like you do and how they would best handle a situation. You will probably have one that figures it’s not worth the battle and one that will fight to the end…! Keep me posted on how it goes!